When was the last time you achieved something that had you bouncing in your chair? Grinning like an idiot? Working instead of watching TV or movies or going out with friends/family? Achieved something you'd worked on at church, during breaks at work, in lines and waiting rooms, wherever you could take a moment to work on it?
I decided at 12:30am on November 1st to participate in NaNoWriMo. I knew I had a hard month ahead of me and wouldn't have much free time, but thought why not and got to writing. What came out was the sequel to an original novel I wrote for NaNo in 2012. What if the Tuatha De Danann were aliens who came to Earth not from four cities far off, but four planets. And some stayed, mixing with humans? And then, one poor bloke from London starts bouncing around the universe because he's a pawn in a larger plot. He's saved by a beautiful alien, a pure Tuatha from one of the four planets, and the two are pulled along as they try to stop a plot against their people.
One of the things I love about writing - really, any creative venture - is that you never know what's coming next. I write for NaNo without an outline or idea of what's going to happen - I may think up the next scene or two, but I often sit down without an idea and just let the writing...flow. It surprises me. This first draft is a train wreck but I'm in love with it. In love! Because this girl always wanted to be a writer, and while I've done dozens of non-fiction articles and pieces, I've never published fiction (other than fanfiction, which I'm proud of but not sharing!). And I feel like I'm onto something here. At least, I'm writing a book I'd love to read. And halfway through writing this one, I realized there has to be a book three.
So I know what I'm writing next year. ;)
This year, I wrote all the time. On breaks. In church. In the car (while parked!). In coffee shops. I went to write-ins at the library and on the light rail. Connected with old friends and new ones. Talked about writing and ideas and characters and life. I even met a US Congresswoman and was in a photo because she wanted to meet our group!
There's an amazing community that rises up to support you. But this is a personal challenge. Can you commit and sacrifice to birth your novel? Are you ready to get less sleep and dream about your characters for a month? I work full-time at Target and do freelance work every week, and I still made it. I worked through Black Friday weekend (four days with about 14 hours of sleep for all of them) and still made it.
I birthed something and it makes me want to cry because I almost missed this.
I can't wait to see what's next for my characters (names James and Jupiter)! There were a few moments when I wrote something that surprised me and I shouted oh my God! out loud because whoah is my brain creative and fun!
This is my 10th win. All this writing has made me a better writer and opened up so many doors in my life. All because I want to have fun. And am a bit crazy.
Probably mostly crazy. But hey - I did it!