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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
(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
I wrote to preserve memories. I wrote to explore my
feelings. I wrote my prayers to God. 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,
·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!