Last November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month for the first time. I wrote 50,000+ words in 30 days, bought a NaNo t-shirt to celebrate my success, and then edited my novel and published it as an e-book. It was a learning experience, and it got me hooked.
This month, I participated again. I got off to a slower start, had more distractions than last year, but came up with an idea that I am excited about. The problem: tomorrow is the last day, and I am only at 27,161 words.
My story is in the conclusion phase. I am wrapping it up, and only have slightly more than half of the required word count for NaNoWriMo victory. I could just keep writing, and tell what happens next in my hero’s life plot. That’s what I did last year.
But I have run out of time. I know what I need to do to finish my book. I need to add more sensory detail. I need to name some of my characters. But my writing process didn’t meet the challenge of this contest.
So, was this a good idea? Did I need to frustrate myself by trying to write 50,000 words in a month and failing? The answers are yes and yes.
This was a good idea, because it got me started. NaNoWriMo was the catalyst in my writing process. I needed to try to write as many words as I could, but more importantly, I needed to write enough to tell my story.
I did get frustrated, but I didn’t fail. After winning my first year, I thought that I had set a precedent for a successful writing marathon. What I did was begin a creative habit that won’t let go of me.
This little vireo represents my writing process. It is full of branches, and the branches contain food. All it needs to do is glean.