This year, my November was sponsored by cheggnog lattes, midnight snacks, and the top knot. Over 30 days and 30 nights I became 50,000 words closer to being able to say I’m a novelist – and that’s pretty amazing.
Now that I’ve had a chance to look back on it all, I have to say there was no trick to it. Just like any lifestyle change (and trust me, NaNoWriMo is just that) there are no short cuts. Sure, writing a novel in a month is hard because of the volume of words you’re producing, but the real challenge lies in carving an hour (or three) out of your daily schedule and dedicating it to writing.
Most people are busy! That’s the reality. Much like the theme of my story (watch out, this is about to come full circle in a super aggressive way) we are so obsessed with checking things off some imaginary list of “should-dos” that we don’t ever stop and think about what it’s all for. That’s what NaNo was all about for me. A finite period of time when I was forced to break out of my highway(of life) hypnosis and take a sharp zig.
Although life doesn’t stop just because you decide to write a book, and sometimes that means sacrifices, the end result is worth it! I ended up with a lot more than just 50,000 words when December 1st eventually came, and I hope some people reading along have been inspired to take on their own challenge. If you haven’t yet, consider it – a month is just long enough to make a real change for yourself.
I have succeeded, but the story is not quite over. I still need to wrap up some loose ends and take a big red pen to my manuscript – which I’m aiming to complete by the end of February. I’m actually excited to have people read it, where before the very thought terrified me.
I know I’ve said it before, but I have great friends who have supported me through this entire adventure, even when I thought there was no way I would succeed. Special mention has to go to my now-famous friend @Woodsay1121 who got me into this mess. He is also the ultimate Word War champion – and he absolutely deserves the title! Although we waged the friendliest war in history (“make words not war” was our motto) it was hugely motivational and helped us keep each other accountable. I highly advise the buddy system.
So…is it too soon for a “that’s all she wrote”?
…Yeah, too soon.
Follow the story on:
www.nanowrimo.org (Erin Chezick)