Why I Wrote 50,000 Words this Month

Why I Wrote 50,000 Words this Month

Ta Da! I actually did it! I wrote over 50,000 words in less than 30 days! I participated in the National Novel Writing Month and finally...I say finally!...wrote my first book.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo a couple years ago but didn't even give it serious thought because I thought it would be something I simply could not do. Maybe a couple years ago that was indeed true.  But in early October of this year, I saw a mention of it and decided to check it out. I read through the website, read the FAQs, saw who some of the published authors are who are associated with it some way or another and thought? Can I do this?

I sat and thought about what would it take for me to accept this challenge? What I realized was that the challenge was internal. If this was somethng I wanted to do, I needed to find those things that would make it meaningful for me. Here's what I came up with:

  • this challenge would be a boost to my creative juices
  • it would open me up to an influx of creative energy I'm not sure I've really experienced
  • it would energize my other artistic efforts [I am a visual artist by profession]
  • it would help me have more self-confidence in myself as an artist and as a person

Wow, that's a lot to expect from a writing challenge! Then I thought about what it would take to succeed:

  • courage - not sure why, but it would take courage
  • determination - be determined to succeed at this for myself
  • discipline - okay, here's something personal about myself: I will sometimes set a goal and then give up or quit because something gets in the way or I talk myself out of it
  • tough self-love - I know this is a challenge I'm skilled enough to do, I need to love myself enough to complete it

 Thing of it was, I did have this idea for a novel that I'd been kicking around for a couple of years. Writing itself was nothing new to me. One of my career paths had been that of a newspaper reporter and I did a lot of writing. I write a blog. Have been doing that for quite a while. But this challenge was for a 'novel.' Yes I had an idea for the story, I had the main character, but could I actually write this out in 30 days to meet the demands of the challenge?

 I decided to go for it. I didn't decide to 'try' it...I decided to 'do' it.   And it did take determination and discipline because there were roadblocks. Time tended to be eaten up with other things; I got sick once and lost a few days. I had other obligations to fulfill. But I discovered that the more I wrote, the more excited I became to find what was going to happen! Was my main character going to succeed? It was unexpected because I discovered that the conversations between characters were writing themselves. Wow! Why hadn't I ever done this before? This writing a novel? It is thrilling! I may write another one. Now, how do I go about getting this published?


Linda C Smith, Artist and Writer


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