We’ve got 24 days until the annual National Novel Writing Month – or NaNoWriMo as it is better known as. I got my profile and novel information all ready. I participated last year and will take part again this year, though it won’t be as easy as it was before.
In 2011, I was unemployed, so I had plenty of time to devote my energy to writing my novel. I had already started what would become “The Dark Proposal” back in September, but hadn’t got as far as half of Chapter One. Luckily, NaNoWriMo gave me the kick in the butt that I needed to put my energy into going beyond those few pages and actually create a story that was initially done by April 2012.
This year, though, I’ll be facing a lot of obstacles. I now have a full time job, working 40 hours a week, so I can’t necessarily spend a few hours at any point in the day on my Work In Progress. I could try when I get home, but I also have to hit the gym, clean my apartment and squeeze in a social life. I already set aside three days a week to spend a couple of hours typing up my next book, but that won’t be enough to make it to 50,000 words by November 30th, unless I am highly energized and my muse had tons of Red Bull.
But that won’t stop me from doing my best and even joining write-ins on Staten Island and in Manhattan. Its great to write alongside of people who have the same interests and goals as you do, and it is also great to cheer each other on. That’s probably my main reason for taking part in NaNoWriMo this year – the social and encouragement part is much needed for all writers. We tend to be isolated since writing is a solo project. We also feel discouraged from time to time because creating a story with complex characters involved in a deep plot line filled with twists and turns is far from easy. It takes a lot of practice and cheering on to get through the process.
But I’m also going to participate this year as a nod to the challenge NaNoWriMo gave me last year which helped me really work at “The Dark Proposal”. I don’t know if I would’ve dedicated myself to the work as I did if it were for NaNoWriMo. So, me joining this year is a like a big thank you to whoever created the challenge.
As for anyone who wants to take part, but isn’t very sure if it would be worth it or if they’ll succeed, I say do it anyway! It is completely worth it! You truly become a writer during this month, and not someone who dabbles in the art and the craft. You learn and respect the blood, swear and tears that goes into process of writing a novel, and you may see your favorite authors differently. That, or any writer that you may know in life. And you will respect yourself more as a writer if you keep pressing on as far as you go.
Think NaNoWriMo as the Olympics. Not everyone wins during the Games, and a few get the silver or bronze. But every athlete will tell you that they are proud of themselves for at least trying and doing their best in a major challenge. Sometimes succeeding means doing your ultimate best, which leads to personal growth and more self-respect.
So if you write from November 1st to November 30th nonstop, good for you! And if you make it to 50,000 words or beyond, God bless you! You’re a true sport, you’re disciplined and you know how to overcome obstacles. But if you missed a few days or didn’t make it pass 30,000 words, don’t beat yourself up. You attempted something that seems daunting to many people and they shrink back at the challenge. You didn’t. You went in there and did your best. You now see yourself, writing and writers with a new perspective.
Perhaps that is what NaNoWriMo is really all about.
Good luck everyone! I’ll be here on November 1st and update periodically during the month.