NaNoWriMo Locker Room Chat: Final Words from Doyle Slen

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NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareHere we are in the closing hours of another NaNoWriMo. This is my second: I didn’t participate in last year’s, but I did make the one before. I still value that certificate, as simple as it is. A month of carpal tunnel, caffeine overdoses and disgusted looks from family when responding to them with, “Shhh, I’m writing”.

This year was different on a few levels. I finished on the 15th instead of the waning hours of the 30th. The previous year, Merry Tricks and I struggled in the final week to pound out approximately 15k words, and crossed the finish line just a couple of hours before it all ended. We were drained and tired, but we won.

This year I finished 15 days early. A lady going by the name of Solace finished on day 5, averaging a phenomenal 10k words a day. I used that inspiration to push myself.

This year I spent a lot of time at the Milk Wood writer’s colony; nagging other writers and cheering them on as they entered their new word count. I have met many people at this year’s write-ins, dashes, word wars and gatherings. My previous NaNo was mostly a solo effort, but I have found this year’s group writing to be an immensely enjoyable experience.

The work doesn’t end on the 30th of November. Come December there will be a lot of editing to the mess I have made in November. There are plenty of folks at Milk Wood, and our sister sim Book Island, who will be happy to provide guidance and inspiration to keep you rolling.

The thrill of accomplishment hasn’t changed, though. I am going to grin like a fool when I print my certificate out again this year. If you lack a few words, keep at it. I use the hunt and peck method, but managed to pull off a few 5k word days.

Everyone has a story in them that needs to be told. Tell your story and don’t be afraid of the critics. Break time is over – get back to work and win that certificate.

Doyle Slen

Dash Host…and general layabout

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