“Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in.” ~ Louise Brown
First, Holy Expletive! Ten years! Ten years I have put myself through this torture. Ten years of word sprints, hundreds upon thousands of words, (over five hundred thousand) thirty days (three hundred to be exact) of having no life, an endless diet of caffeine, hours spent pulling my hair and questioning my sanity.
And through it all there are the friendships I have made. The writing sit-ins I have attended. The goals I have set and succeeded and the dreams that I have accomplished.
A lot has happened in ten years. I have grown not just as a writer, but as a human. I have become more self-assured. I am more knowledgable of the process as a whole. And I have been the same hair color for five years. (a huge accomplishment in of itself!)
For those who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, writers around the world attempt to pen at least 50,000 words which is the length of a novel.
In other words: It is pure torture. Do. Not. Do. It!
While NaNoWriMo might seem like cruel unnecessary punishment, as grueling as it is, it is also incredibly fun. As someone who can get caught up in the writing process, it has taught me to let go and pen my thoughts without worrying about anything else.
It takes the writer back to basics, where the focus is the story and everything else is just excess.
The Last Year
It has been an ever evolving journey where I have learned and grown as a writer. This last year was especially life changing. The novel I wrote during the 2016 NaNoWriMo is in negotiations and has become a series. I have been freelancing for several publications and have had the amazing opportunity of covering some pretty rad events as a journalist with press creds.
At times it hasn’t been easy. It still isn’t always flowers and sunshine. The writer life isn’t regardless of how it is portrayed in movies. But I am following my dreams and getting closer to actually being able to legit call myself a novelist. I may not be J.K. Rowling. And I may joke about being Carrie Bradshaw. But at the end of the day I am just me and this is MY journey and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This NaNo might be my most ambitious yet, especially because of my crazy writing schedule. I also have several trips planned, because why not? But that is what makes it fun. I wouldn’t be the crazy over-achiever if I didn’t keep pushing myself. And at the end of the day, THAT is what NaNoWrimo is about. Pushing your limits as a writer and delving even deeper into the process.
To everyone participating: Happy NaNoWriMo!
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you done it in the past?