It’s November 30th as I write this. The last day of the NaNoWriMo challenge that has taken over my life for the past thirty days.
The first time I attempted this challenge, I was highly motivated to win. I had joined an online writing community, I attended write-ins, I didn’t have a job or class to go to so I could literally designate entire days to upping my word count and fleshing out my characters.
Not so much.
I went in blind, with nothing but a brief idea of what I wanted to occur in my story. I found that as I am a frequent reader of sequential works, I’ve picked up the habit of working with trilogies in mind (Thank you Robin Hobb) and even though I have hit the 50k word mark… The story has not progressed as far as I wanted it to… but then there’s always book two and three!
This year, I’m an MA student 2 months in with a lot more on my plate. November is busy enough with the countdown for Christmas starting and a lot of family birthdays to prepare for. I got distracted often… There was an entire week where I didn’t write a single thing! And then there were the nights that I would spend on my google documents, struggling to catch up to the recommended word count (Do not recommend).
Skipping 1667 words a day is totally fine if you miss one day… when you miss several days… multiple times… and you’re demanding more of yourself than ever before… you might stress yourself into illness.
Which I did.
And it wasn’t fun.
But I’ve finally completed something. Too often I’ve become swept up in a monthly challenge only to have my enthusiasm fade out as the days progressed. I’m talking about the Monster Girl Challenge on my IG and the Journal Writing Challenge I started on Tumblr… wow.
It feels good to finish something creative that isn’t for class.
I’ve always had a big sense of admiration towards authors and writers who churn out worlds and characters every year. Now, having completed the process myself (minus all the editors and beta readers because I’m not planning on submitting this novel for publication), that respect and awe has increased five times over.
Even though my novel isn’t the best… and hasn’t ended up as I had hoped, but I’m happy with what I’ve achieved. I mean, 50023 words in thirty days on top of an MA course? That’s an achievement. I’m crying.
I’m like the proud parent of an ugly baby*, no one can tell me a thing.
*No harm intended, most babies are cute, some just need to grow into their features.