I originally filmed a video for this, but decided the unresponsive file wasn't worth the extra time and frustration. By now, my hands are feeling the effects of a typing vacation, so we can continue on.
A few of you have asked what NaNoWriMo is, so allow me to explain it via my personal experiences over the past nine years:
For the month of November, you tell others to leave you alone, chain yourself to your computer or laptop, and write. A lot. There's an incredible amount of writing. 50,000 words, to be exact, all to be written in 30 days.
Think about that. How many words do you write daily? If you keep a blog, how long are your entries? In order to reach the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days, you need to write, on average, 1,667 words a day. And while I can't tell you how many pages that is, I can tell you 50,000 is about 115 pages.
And here's another thing: you don't have time to plot things out. The pace, usually fit in around school or work or family obligations, doesn't give you time to think about a plot, or do research, or second-guess yourself. You just write. Even if you're so tired, you're falling asleep. Or have a cold. Or don't know what to write. You just write.
It's all worth it, though, when you finally reach that finish line, cross over into the ending of your story. You have something you've written. It's come from your sweat, tears, and hastily made food, not to mention you've ignored everything and everyone else for awhile, and are, once again, stepping out into the sun.
But it is so, so worth it.
Here are a few things I learned this month:
- Stop over-thinking your project and do your secret desire.
- Joy is infectious.
- Just because you don't plan something doesn't mean your mind doesn't know where it's going.
- A great team of cheerleaders can make or break a project.
- Working through the blocks is hard, but helpful.
- When you're at the halfway point and want to give up, don't throw away all the hard work you've already done.
- That sense of accomplishment at the end is so amazing, you'll cry.
I'll expand on these more this week. There's so much more I want to say. But for now – I finished! 51,000 words or so of a story I wrote in a month.
And now, my hands would like another break. I had to battle horrible arthritis, carpal tunnel, & numb fingers. If I can do it through that, so can you!