50610

It’s about NaNoWriMo.  Take a guess at what I’ll be talking about.

At 50610 words (according to NaNoWriMo’s official validator), I won NaNoWriMo on November 28, 2012. I was expecting some random, indivisible odd number in the 50 K range, but instead I got a number that is even and beautiful in its own weird way.  (Because 6-1=5, and all that…) I probably got these number because I made it my goal to try and write more than 1667 words per day, and the magic number that I needed up aiming for most of the time was near 2000.  Sometimes it felt below, sometimes it went above.  Yet I kicked it into gear November 27, by writing 3200 words.  The section I wrote in great detail that day was about a battle between my main character and the one I had decided to be the villain as I was writing and tweaking the story as I went along.  Needles to say, I shall remember the day as the moment when my muse caught fire and told me to drive ahead and make the final sprint, because it’ll be so much easier down the line.  And I did, and it was great, because I finished with 3000 more words yesterday for a grand total of 50610.

For those of you reading this post and wondering what it would be like to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, I, as a two-time loser and current victor, suggest that you do it just for the thrill and the discipline of it.  It is not a competition about getting to 50,000 words the fastest.  It is you vs. the page and the clock.  It will make you write because you have to and because you want to.  It will make you write from 10 at night to midnight the next day because you didn’t have time in the day to do it otherwise.  It will make you question which events you can go to.  If you’re an American, it will try to catch you on Thanksgiving.  And for those of you who are perfectionists, doing NaNoWriMo will teach you that it is okay to make mistakes the first time.  The point is to make them now so that they don’t happen in the future and so you can learn from them later.  Yes, I wrote a 50,000-word novel, but it is absolutely terrible.  It is far form publishable at this point.

Let me emphasize that further.

It is far from publishable at this point.  But that’s okay, because no one is looking at it.

That’s because NaNoWriMo gets you off the mental couch you’ve been sitting on, because your doubts at writing a story in addition to your belief that you have no time in the world to write one have been keeping you chained to it.  Be free.  Don’t find time.  Make a decision to do something, and the time will unfold before you for you to complete it.  And don’t be afraid. You will not be alone.  You will meet new friends, your friendships will strengthen when you chronicle your journey’s triumphs and pitfalls.

Embrace it.

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