So I actually finished my novel on the 27th, by which I mean I wrapped up the story and submitted it to the NaNoWriMo website for validation. I won. I did it. I won my first NaNoWriMo, much against my own expectations.
As soon as I’d validated it I sat back and thought… now what? Suddenly my evening stretched out in front of me as a blank canvas, not overhung with the need to write 2,000 words. And it felt… odd. And uncomfortable. And empty.
I mooched around for one evening but pretty much the next day (yesterday) I got down to the business of editing, which for now is more or less going through and fixing the most glaring errors. Irony: by editing I’ve added almost 2,000 words.
The next goal is to add in a few more chapters – I’m aiming eventually to reach 80,000 – 100,000 words, which is the length of a “proper” novel. And then… who knows?
Editing is really incredibly difficult. It’s hard to get the perspective and I’ve always had kind of a problem with re-reading my work – I find it kind of boring (which is not to say that anyone else is going to, let’s not be judgemental here). I’m finding it hard to get a sweeping perspective on the storyline and especially on the pacing. It might be an idea to take a step back and take a break but from my historical experience, the time it takes for me to return to my own writing and be able to read it is, in fact, several years, which I don’t really have.
Anyway, we’ll have to see how things work out.
It’s weird though. About two days before I finished, I suddenly had this feeling like… what if I could actually get paid to do this? I enjoy writing so much and there are so many other projects now that I want to devote my time to. What an amazing way to make a living!
It’s kind of a heady, dangerous thought – I know all the stuff about rejected manuscripts and how many young authors are out there trying to break into the market. And I honestly don’t know if what I’m writing is good enough or suitable for public consumption. Part of me feels like I haven’t found my voice yet or matured enough as an author to write the kind of thing that I want to write. Sometimes I feel like there’s a disconnect between what I feel and the words that actually come out.
But anyway. I guess we’ll know when I actually start trying to get stuff published.