Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Land of NaNoWriMo

 My experience.

 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.

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.

And Finally:

·      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.)


  1. Rebecca, Thank you for sharing your heart. i write to preserve memories, explore and clarify my feelings and also journal my prayers. I pray for you to continue to write and share and for God to bless you always.

    1. Thank you, Susie for your words of encouragement. I'm glad you stopped by.

  2. Nicely said! Writing is somehow more about the process than the outcome. I'm learning that as I edit my first novel.

    1. Exactly! Sometimes I get caught up in the "competition" or the "hoopla" others impose and forget to keep on keeping on! Glad you are learning that early on.


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