After brainstorming, planning, and outlining my next novel for the two or three months previous to November, I felt this year would be as good a time as any to finally participate in National Novel Writing Month. Though I didn’t reach 50,000 words, I did reach my own personal goal of 25,000.
I loved the experience much more than I thought I would. Here’s why.
THE POWER OF A DEADLINE: I’ve been writing most of my life, and though I constantly remind myself how HUGELY much I have to learn, I was shocked at the stimulus that a simple goal and deadline can cause. I have always thought of myself as a slow writer. The experience of NaNo has made me suspect that perhaps I’m not so much slow as extremely laid back. And yes, there is a big difference there.
COMMUNITY THAT PUTS ME IN MY PLACE: There’s something amazing about knowing that thousands and thousands of people are participating in the same thing I am, all around the world. These people are churning their creativity, pushing themselves to limits, focusing, delving, crying, trying . . . spilling themselves into their own unique stories. Just like me. Puts a little perspective on things.
EVEN IF I LOSE, I WIN: So I didn’t get 50,000 words. No biggie. At 25,000 words, that’s at LEAST twice as much as I would normally write in a month’s time. That’s worth something to me, if nothing more than showing me I can do MORE than I believed I could. That’s a powerful thing.
For those of you who have participated before, whether beginner like me or veteran . . . what has NaNoWriMo taught you over the years?