National Novel Writing Month – It’s not failure… It’s perspective

National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, has been an eye opening experience for me. What I mainly learned from this challenge of attempting to write a 50,000 word story in 30 days is that: I’m ridiculously busy.

I updated my word count today after about half an hour of writing – 14,143 words. 1,084 words written today; Words remaining: 35,857.

I hardly consider this a failure.

This has helped me to gain some perspective on my life. I’m very busy. Between work, going to school, homework, trying to plan a wedding, and trying to write… I’ve determined that it’s an immense task trying to juggle so many things at once.

I don’t need a challenge to tell me that I can write a book. I’ve written a book already. But doing it in 30 days while trying to handle the rest of your life is a serious challenge. Granted, there were some points during that 30 days where I certainly had time to write, but I lacked the inspiration. I found myself too tired, or, I’ll admit it, I was simply too lazy to turn on my computer and click away at my keyboard. Am I ashamed of this? Of course not. This has been a great learning experience and I’m sure I’ll still finish this book before next November. Then, when next November arrives, I’ll be ready to start the challenge all over again. 50,000 words in 30 days. Thousands of people do it every November, and I plan to be a part of those thousands of people.

However, I don’t want to start this paragraph by saying there is a flaw with NaNoWriMo – Because there really isn’t. My particular concern with it is that trying to push out 50,000 words in 30 days can be a Herculean task, especially if you get behind (like I did). I found myself really taking my time and doing some serious planning with this book. I found myself making sure that each part of the story fits together with previous parts. I’m taking the time to develop my characters. I’m not the kind of person with the mindset where I can crank out a story quickly and go back and edit it later. No – I want to, essentially, get it right the first time. If I take the time now to really put the effort forth and write a good, solid story – The editing process will be that much easier.

So, as the final hours of National Novel Writing Month wind down, I’d like to bid it farewell, and a safe journey as it travels to next year. Next November we shall meet again, and for another 30 years we will duel each other. Parrying and defending each others attacks and leaps and bounds. The victor of the next NaNoWriMo remains to be seen, and I can’t wait to see the results.


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