It's all over ...

... bar the party. National Novel Writing Month has finished for another year, and for me this is a key year as I'm stepping down as Municipal Liaison for Brighton (and Hove actually). I've done the job for three years and reckon it's time to give somebody else a chance to wear the luminous T-shirt and crack the whip!

It's been a joy. I know some people are sniffy about the event, saying it's not real literature - but so what? Thousands of people run the London Marathon every year, not because they think they can win the race, but for the pleasure of taking part. We can't all be Paula Radcliffe but we can all stumble to the finish - several hours behind her - and know what it feels like to be her.

I feel excited every year, when people begin to feel the thrill of writing a long work of fiction and start to engage with the novelist's life that I live every day. So what if they only get a snapshot of what it feels like to write fiction for a living? A snapshot is worth more than no picture at all.

And every year I meet great writers with brilliant ideas who hammer out 50,000 words or more in thirty days, who share the highs and lows of novelling and who learn - as I have learned - just how addictive it is to create your own world.

So tonight we party - I have surprises for many of my participants, drinks to buy, stories to share and novel excerpts to read. And then I shall hang up the T-shirt and go back to being just another hack, churning it out for money. Until next November ...

NaNo final word count - 59128 words. Friends made - many. Fun had - loads.

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