My final word count for NaNoWriMo 2013 was 38,644. Well, technically it was 39,948, but I didn't get the chance to add in my last few words written before the site closed.
It's 11,356 words shy of the 50,000-word goal, but I don't mind. November is not really the ideal month to write a novel in, particularly with my schedule. I am extremely pleased with what I've accomplished during that time. Especially compared to last year, my first NaNo attempt.
Last year, I began Mask, a YA contemporary novel about the captain of a high school girls' fencing team. There was much drama, but it would all have worked out OK in the end -- if I'd gotten to the end. Alas, I stopped at about 17k. This first NaNo taught me a lot, and I'm sure I have the beginnings of a good story somewhere in there.
But I was never really meant to finish Mask, and I didn't expect to. It was a bad, stressful time. For one, I was sick a lot and tired all the time. I also hadn't been able to write much of anything without being stricken by an overwhelming disgust and hatred for what I'd written, where it was going, what I was going to write next, or any of it. That, or I'd just be too apathetic to attempt to write -- or I would try to write and fall asleep at the computer.
NaNo 2012 was my last-ditch attempt to recover something that I had used to enjoy, by starting something completely new. Even though life got in the way of finishing, it renewed my faith in writing and reminded me why I enjoy the storymaking process.
On to NaNo 2013.
I decided to do NaNo because I wanted to finish a current wip. After last year, I knew that a completely new NaNo novel would be unmanageable with my schedule, and I didn't want to drive myself crazy. While reaching 50k would be ideal, I was also realistic. I judge my success this year based on what I wrote last year. 38,644 - 16,442 = 22,202 more words than I managed in 2012. So when I say I'm "cheerfully losing NaNoWriMo," what I mean to say is that I won it on my own terms.
Contracted isn't finished. Finishing the first draft may take a while. I can't believe that I originally thought it would be a short story...then a long story...then a novella...and it's now sitting at just over 80k, a genuine novel-in-progress.
I started it around the beginning of 2013. 80k in a year is the fastest I've written any of my wips. I really love this one and I have high hopes for its future. And I really really really need to finish it soon because I can't read Throne of Glass until I do. I've put a self-imposed moratorium on all books containing assassins and/or fairy tale retellings. (I've been compensating by reading a lot of sci-fi, post-apocalypse, dystopian, and MG.)
In conclusion, I am pleased with what I accomplished this November.