Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Over on uber-author Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog he has this little exercise called The Insecure Writer's Support Group where, on the first Wednesday of the month, you're supposed to post your thoughts, feelings, and insecurities about all things writing.
Since today is the first Wednesday of June (06-06-12), that's exactly what I'll be doing here.
As a fairly new writer, one of the biggest and most ambitious things I've done, so far, was attempting to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) last November. Maybe you've heard of it? It's where you write a 50,000 word novel in a month's time...coming out to around 1,666 words a day.
Now I'm going to be honest in stating the following.
I never believed I could finish.
Sure, I figured I'd give it a decent try. I had signed up in 2010 and thought, very briefly, about trying it then, but procrastination (as well as talking myself out of doing it) got the best of me and, before I knew it, it was mid-November and I knew I'd never catch up, not 'win', and decided to leave it for 2011.
So, last November (2011) I made the decision to give it a shot. Then I started thinking about having to write over a thousand words a day. Before that, I had written some (very) short stories, sometimes taking days to finish them. Writing over 1k words a day seemed very daunting at that point. I sighed and shrugged as I do with certain things and resigned myself to fail before I even got out of the gate.
Then, a strange thing happened. I filled out a profile on a fairly new 'social media' site called Google Plus. I don't even remember how, but I ran across some people talking about doing NaNo and slowly began building my circles, adding people, and talking about the upcoming event in November.
The more I talked to the people in my circles, the more confident I became that, yeah, I could really do it.
I could 'win' NaNoWriMo.
We would share when we would meet or exceed our word count goals for the day and lend support for those who didn't. The accountability and encouragement really helped get me through that month and I'm still convinced, to this day, that I couldn't have done it without G+. I had quite a few days where I didn't think I'd make my word count but, my G+ buddies gave me a nice prod in the right direction.
I had gone total 180 degrees from "I can't." to "I can."
The best feeling was when I got to say "I did."
I had "won" NaNo and I put 'won' in quotes because you really don't get anything from doing it, besides a certificate that you print out and the satisfaction of knowing you can start something and see it through.
For me, though, the satisfaction was the best and most important part of the whole thing.
The lesson learned from doing NaNoWriMo was that, like the Nike commercial tells us, all we really need to do is 'Just Do It.'
I did just that and, now, I need to apply those 'rules' to finishing my story and editing it.
Maybe by this November? We'll see....