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  • Writer's pictureVendela Ahlström

I finished NaNoWriMo 2022

I am officially exhausted! This week on Tuesday (22nd November) I reached 50 000 words. About twenty minutes after that Lizzie finished her NaNoWriMo. I feel like I’ve achieved this great challenge, while at the same time just feeling empty.

This is the first time I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo “properly”, as in, I went in with a new project and drafted 50 000 words. Having said that though, I have not “finished” my draft. I’ve written half of it.

I reached the point just before the midpoint. The midpoint is hard for me to plot because it requires some research that I won’t have access to until mid January, and I knew this to be the case. Since I’m a fantasy writer, and fantasy very often exceeds 100 000 words I didn’t expect to get the midpoint written during NaNoWriMo. I expect I’ve actually gotten about 45% into the draft and I did write all the chapters I plotted in advance, which was my goal.

I think I could’ve kept going till November 30th, but I’m rather glad I finished my 50k before then, because frankly… I’m knackered.

And to be honest, it makes sense to be exhausted. Writing 50k in a month is a lot of hard work. And when I look at my stats I wrote on average 2 194 words a day. There was only one day that I ended up writing nothing. One day I wrote 5 462 words (I was stuck at Gatwick Airport with nothing else to do but write), I one day I only wrote 114 words. I think, perhaps, if I’d stuck to those 1667 words a day, I might have lasted until 30th November.

All in all, I’m happy it’s over. It was so much fun and my motivation was sky high. It was exciting to work on a new project after nearly three years of working on Visions of Ravens. I had the most supportive community of fellow NaNo writers and non-NaNo writers and while I’m so excited to keep writing on this draft, I’m also very happy to take a break. Plus, I kinda miss my characters from Visions of Ravens.

Completing NaNoWriMo has made me think though.

Writing 50k in three weeks makes you realise that you can, theoretically, write 100 000 in six weeks. Which means, it shouldn’t be impossible to write a fantasy novel of 100 000+ words in about three months. Don’t worry, I’m not doing it. I have work and studies and my health to think about. There is no reason to use up all our creative energy to then feel hungover. But it does make you think…

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