Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Slaying the Dragon for the First Time: A NaNoWriMo Journey

December is here, and that means National Novel Writing Month is finished. After watching the excitement over NaNoWriMo for years on social media and in Writer's Digest articles, I decided to sign up...

Being a "Wrimo" means you write every day. Every. Day. Even if the laundry hamper is overflowing. Even if the dust in your living room is an inch thick. Or if something dire and unexpected happens that you absolutely cannot write a word (in my case a broken molar) you have to catch up in sprints. Or else you start to get the shakes. You start to feel guilty. You start to feel like something is missing.


Because NaNoWriMo makes writing a part of your daily habits, like brushing your teeth or exercising (well...for some...I count going up and down two flights of stairs with laundry as exercise). We become writers out of passion and inspiration. But we stay writers out of habit, because it becomes an intrinsic part of us as much as eating and breathing.

Dip into that creative well at least once a day and bring up some magic!
Today is December 1st, and I was looking forward to the time to clean up the house, decorate for Christmas some more, tackle some of the tasks that have been a bit neglected (or done hastily, a lick and a promise). What am I doing? Writing about NaNoWriMo. Why? Because my hands began to twitch.

I had to write SOMETHING today.  

Even though my Nano first draft is finished at 30K words. (Huzzah! I'm still in shock!) It's not 50K, so I don't officially win, but honestly I feel like a winner nonetheless. I sat down to write almost every day, and I completed a first draft of a story that became more than I expected it to. I proved to myself that I can write 10,000 words in one week. I proved to myself that I can finish a draft in a shorter time than 4 months (that's how long The Dragon's Message took me). I learned that if I just keep writing (don't stop to revise, don't stop, just keep typing just keep typing, don't you look back...) the characters and story magic will take over organically. I learned to trust in my imagination a little more, and I was rewarded now and again by those plot epiphanies that flood your mind with a light that lasts throughout the day.

Most of all, NaNoWriMo helped me to give myself the permission to make my writing time part of my daily routine. I had a definitive goal, a real deadline. And for that, NaNoWriMo is one of the best things that has happened to my career as a writer. I am proud to be a Wrimo!

Pictures are from Pinterest. If an image is yours and you do not wish it to be used, please contact me. 

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