Winning NaNoWriMo, of all things. As a former serious writer (I have a hard-earned, but now seemingly worthless MFA), I’ve let the adventure of city-living (we lived in NYC and Boston post-grad school), parenthood (we have a 6 year-old and a 4 year-old), and a cross-planetary move (we now live in New Zealand) distract me from what I’ve felt the drive to do since I could read and write: tell stories. Yes, I’ve been blogging for the last few years, documenting the path my life has taken. But I’d basically given up writing fiction.
However, something reminded me of this thing that I’d heard of, but always too late, a crazy, endurance writing challenge where you attempt to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. It’s called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. (It’s actually international and multilingual.) You sign up, create an online profile, and then at 12:00 am on the 1st of November, you start writing fresh. (You can’t resume a project you’d started earlier, although you can start a new draft of a story or idea you’d explored before.) You update your word count on your profile and then, if you hit 50,000 words by 11:59pm on the 30th of November, you win! And as you can guess, since I’m writing this on November 30th, and not working frantically on my novel-in-progress, I finished! I won! I snapped this screen shot last night once I hit the 50,000 mark and after I validated my word count on my profile page.
Anyway, I’m glad to have reached this milestone and to have a writing project to work towards. It was a month-long race that I had to accomplish in short sprints early in the morning, mid-morning when both my kids are in school, and at night after they were in bed. Some days, I had use all three of these windows to churn out more than 1,500 words in a day. I feel good, like a writer again. And I’m glad for that. I’m also glad that the month is over and while I look forward to working to complete the first draft of the novel (I got my 50,000 words but I didn’t write all the scenes I think I need to have a complete first draft), I’m also thrilled to have some breathing room to devote time to other things like this blog, and sleep, to name just two.
So stay tuned! There is indeed more to come.