acknowledging defeat, acknowledging victory...

Well, running at a shade under 17,500 words as at the 19th November I have to acknowledge that I'm not going to 'win' nanowrimo this year.

But I've won in more important, more fundamental ways.. I've won because those 17,500 words are the first of many - they have reminded me that I can still write prose..  Badly written prose perhaps, with an awful lot of polishing and re-drafting to come, but still, I am confident that by the end of this process, however long it takes, I will have written, and published, a novel. It's a confidence that I've not had in many, many years...

It's also, I hope, broken me of a bad habit that has consigned many 1/2-decent ideas to the bin - the need to re-draft the first chapter before the last is written (and, indeed, usually before the second is even started...).

The idea of writing to the end before you get too self-critical is hugely powerful, and it's taken this exercise to remind me of the fact..

While I'm not going to stop writing the novel, in acknowledging that I won't complete it before the end of November, I am going to be able to find more balance with the maelstrom that is my life. This in turn means that the journey ahead will be more sustainable. I have a lot to re-learn about the craft of writing, but I am now confident that I will, one day, be an author as well as a poet...

Thank you nanowrimo, for giving me back my faith.