I first heard about NaNoWriMo when I joined an online writing group called My 500 Words. Organized by Jeff Goins, the aim of the group was to write 500 words a day, starting on January 1st. A few of the original 500 Words group took on the challenge later that year of writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.
(You can read more about the National Novel Writing Month by clicking HERE.)
Intriguing? Yes. But not for me. I was in the throes of revising my second novel at the time. I checked in on the NaNoWriMo crowd via Facebook and signed up for Camp NaNo the next summer so I could “attend” sessions and learn from other writers.
By the summer of 2014 I had joined another Facebook writing group and had moved to a place in my writing where I was writing at least a thousand words a day. At least. As autumn approached, members of my new group, 10 Minute Novelists, laid down the NaNoWriMo gauntlet once more. I had finished my third novel and had an idea for my fourth. The timing was perfect. I intended to draft my fourth novel as a member of the team.
It was not to be. My husband died a few days before the intense writing sessions were to start. I didn’t write much for a very long time.
In the months following Tom’s death, I managed to keep the blog going. As time passed, most any writing I did outside of my blog was somehow therapeutic.
I wrote to preserve memories. I wrote to explore my feelings. I wrote my prayers to God.
And my praises.
And my praises.
During that time, I couldn’t string a sentence together for my proposed novel. So I set it aside. I returned to the works I had finished –intending to polish them for publication. As I did, a new idea began taking shape.
I decided to join the NaNoWriMo challenge once more this past month. Here is what I learned:
· NaNoWriMo isn’t about writing a book; it’s about pursuing a dream.
· NaNoWriMo isn’t about finishing a novel; it’s about getting a kick-start on drafting one.
· NaNoWriMo isn’t about editing and polishing; it’s about allowing the thoughts to flow.
· NaNoWriMo isn’t about writing in a one-person kayak; it’s about writing onboard a vibrant ship loaded with creative, energetic wordsmiths.
· NaNoWriMo isn’t about 50,000 words; it’s about the 32,012 words I never would have written in one month’s time if I hadn’t taken on this challenge.
· NaNoWriMo isn’t my life; it’s a vehicle to enrich my writing life.
· Extended time spent with my family during the entire week of Thanksgiving is worth far more than 17,988 words any day!
My sincere congratulations to you if
you set a writing goal this year and pursued it.
Even if you didn’t grab the brass ring,
you took a chance and got on the Merry-Go-Round.
(And the music plays on.)