NaNoWriMo 2016: Why I Did This To Myself

Why I NaNoWriMo:

The first time I was introduced to NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, I didn’t get it. Why would you sit down and attempt to write an entire novel in a month? Was it possible to write 50,000 words in 30 days and end with something worth reading? Worth publishing?

Surely not. So why?

That was before.

Before the first novel I wrote. When I loved to read and write, but the idea of writing something novel length was nebulous and unattainable.

Before, when I was afraid to write words that would be deleted. Or words that weren’t good enough to be published. When my thoughts about novel writing were only the end product, a hardcopy in my hands. When I had no idea about the incredible journey of creating characters.

I’ve learned that fiction writers are the people who never outgrow their imaginary friends. Instead they created friends for those imaginary friends with whom they play out the entire scope of the human experience. Love. War. Tragedy. Hope. The things they are afraid of. The things they long for, but can’t attain.

The journey to write the story is far more beautiful than the final product. The final product is merely an emblem of the writer’s passion.

Whether or not you become a published author matters far less than the way you are changed by the writing process.

From my first novel I learned that words have to be written, and rewritten, and rewritten, and… You get the picture.

So, when this November rolled around, I still hadn’t given National Novel Writing Month a try. It took me several years to write my first novel for various reasons. Many starts and stops along the way. This September, I had begun the first draft of my second novel length project.

I had a good start. I knew the characters, where I was taking them,and how the story ended. I just needed to get it out of my head, and on the page.

Along came November 1st. Many of my writing friends were doing NaNoWriMo. But not me. I mean I would try to log in a lot of words for the month as an act of solidarity, but I wasn’t going to “officially” join the madness.

Until a few days into the month I found myself on the NaNoWriMo website, making it official…

The first few days killed me. I’m a chronic over thinker. I relish sitting and mulling over the exact word that will convey the precise emotion I’m looking for. During NaNoWriMo, ain’t nobody got time for that…

Nor did I have time to read the chapter I just finished thirty-two times to decide if I was really pleased with it.

And what if the words weren’t flowing easily? Could I skip a day? Nope. I have very small windows with which I can write. If I skipped a day, I was behind with little prospects of catching up. Carpe Momentum was the theme of the month.

It won’t always be the right season for that type of writing, but for my work in progress, it was exactly what I needed. I needed to shovel the words out there, so that I could sculpt them in the months to come.

I worry a lot about things being good enough, whatever that means. NaNoWriMo was a discipline of its own kind. A discipline in discarding perfectionism. A discipline in writing even when I didn’t feel like it. To write without looking back.

I think I’ll always love to mull over my word choice… After all, I am a lover of words.

So…yay. I won NaNoWriMo. To me, anyone who wrote anything toward their writing goal is a winner. There is no magic in 50,000 words. Only in the words themselves, and in the minds of the people who paint pictures with them :).

Can you read my NaNoWriMo project it? No. It’s bad. Really. But after a few rewrites… We’ll see…

I’m thankful for this experience. I learned that I was able to write far more in one month than I thought I could. Will I do it again? Maybe, if the timing is right. It’s not for everyone, but I do think I understand it far more than I once did.

Do you want to learn more? Check out www.nanowrimo.org

Do you have a dream that seems out of reach? Set a goal and tell people about it. It makes a difference.

Any other Wrimo’s out there? I would love to hear your writing adventures this past month.

TOMORROW:

Meet me back here tomorrow for Fiction Friday. I am doing a review of Cynthia Ruchti’s Christmas novella, Restoring Christmas. There will be a reader appreciation GIVEAWAY that includes a hardback copy of the book, as well as a few Christmas themed extras to get you in the spirit of the season.

My latest newsletter will go out on Monday. It’s my little gift to you. Chock full of articles, videos, and more to help you survive and thrive in the busyness of the season. If you haven’t already subscribed, click the link below.

Perch Here


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