Congratulations 2015 NaNo Participants!

The Month of Pain is over! As the dust settles from another National Novel Writing Month you’re either celebrating a successful 50,000-word slog or nursing your pride from yet another reminder that writing a novel is not easy–or that life gets in the way of the best of intentions.

Either way, my hat is off to you. I salute you, NaNo Participants of 2015!

I’ve only done NaNo once. I won, but at a cost I’m not sure I’m willing to pay ever again (at least while I hold a full-time job and still have young kids at home). So I have a great deal of respect for those who keep going back year after year. It’s no easy feat, and even if you don’t hit the 50K, there’s no shame in not getting there. It’s really more about the journey.

That said, NaNo brings out the hero in all of us. Many of you go to great lengths to hit that word count, including late-night writing sessions, lots of caffeine, write-ins, sprints, competitions–whatever it takes! I know of one participant who, as of Thanksgiving Day had only written 3000 words, but–through an effort I can only describe as Herculean–still hit 50,000 words by the end of the 29th. I’m still in awe!

For me NaNo was a spring-board. It proved that I had the discipline to keep writing every day. And with occasional exceptions I have been writing every day ever since. It takes me six months or more to complete a novel at my own pace, but I complete them.

And it was NaNoWriMo that showed me I could. It was the confidence-builder I needed to convince myself I could be a writer, that I enjoy writing enough to make myself do it, and that I still enjoyed writing even after making myself do it.

I don’t know if I’ll participate in NaNoWriMo in the future. But it will always hold a fond place in my heart as one of the primary¬†catalysts that got me back into writing.

To all of you who put yourself through the month-long boot camp of NaNo, both the winners and the try-ers, congratulations! Well done! And best of luck with next year, should you decide to go it again!

And welcome back to life! The one bummer about NaNo is that you come out of your month-long, self-imposed hermitage to face The Holiday Season. Talk about your rude awakenings! Good luck with that, as well!

Thom Stratton

About Thom Stratton

Thom is a Utah transplant, works for a regional bank, and spends his lunch hours working on his latest novel. His wife, three kids, and four pets find him amusing and somewhat useful, so they keep him around.