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It never fails. In December, I look at my NaNo draft and think. "Did I really just spend a whole month writing this…drivel?" (I actually use a different word but this is a relatively family-and-tortoise-friendly blog.) Then I start thinking about all the other things I could have, should have, done instead, and I want to throw away the whole manuscript and all the notes I can't read and that make no sense. For example: "The bag is gone!" Whaaaat? What bag? Whose bag? Is that even what it says or could it actually be "The dog is gone!" or "The bag is bone!" Knowing me, that "bone" one makes more sense….)
But I think what hangs me up the most is that every year I look at the NaNo draft as potentially "THE ONE" - the novel that will get me an agent, a publisher, great reviews, loyal fans, etc. That's a lot of pressure to put on a pile of paper and a half formed - at best! - story. Part of that comes from my first ever NaNo experience - many, many years ago - when I did actually snag an agent with that revised manuscript. Nothing ever came of it though, and the agent and I parted ways amicably.
But I continue to see many published authors saying their newly published novel was a 2008, 2009, 2011 NaNo project. I worry that the lightning won't strike twice for me. I wonder what I'm doing wrong.
But then I look at that pile of paper, and I think the time was well spent after all. I met some interesting people in those pages, and I rode some interesting roller-coaster plot twists.
And really, what else was I going to do in November anyway? Clean my house? Yeah, right.