It’s November. To some people that means the start of Christmas season, Thanksgiving, football, Starbucks holiday drinks, peppermint, and an overall enjoyable month. To others, it means all that and a mental marathon for the ages: NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month.
I tackled this task last year and won – barely crossing the finish line – and I have pretty much been on a high for the last eleven months because of it. It has always been my intention to make writing a 50,000+ words in 30 days a personal annual event, but just my second time out of the gate, I don’t think I’m going to get very far.
I probably won’t complete NaNoWriMo, and that’s okay.
If I don’t, it just shows how busy I’ve been in other aspects of my life. I’m job searching, writing and reporting for Hypable, studying for exams, spending time with friends before I graduate, spending time with family during Thanksgiving break before I move out… all these things that yes, this year, are more important than writing a book.
NaNoWriMo means something. It stands for something – and it’s not “I’m going to become a published author.” It’s “I pushed myself, and I accomplished something.” You don’t run a marathon with the hopes of winning. You run to prove to yourself you can do it (sometimes. On that note – I’m thinking about trying to start running some 10k’s and half-marathons. Am I crazy?)
So yes, I have a story, and I have a few thousand words already under my belt, but this month will be used to get the ball rolling, even if it takes me a few months to hit that all-important 50k. I’m still writing extensively. But writing these 400 words for this post were more important that writing 400 words for my story.
I’m writing a feature piece about November ratings sweeps for Hypable that is going to be very detailed and researched. That will be 1,000 words I could have written of a fictional novel that is unlikely to see the light of day.
I’m glad I’m involved in NaNoWriMo – the pep talks and encouragement and community are amazing – but it’s fine if I don’t finish the challenge come November 30.