I feel as though NaNoWriMo was my practice, my rehearsal process. I had wanted to write since I was 6 years old.
I remember seeing books on my parents shelf and thinking ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to have your name on a book on some strangers bookshelf years after you’ve died.’
I had good marks for school short stories and even was pulled aside by a teacher one day. Middle school, three of us were asked if we’d be part of a book she wanted to get published. Of course we said yes to what was to be short stories written by some students. But nothing came of it.
An awkward teen I lost my confidence. Each time I came back to writing I lost my confidence.
Years of thoughts, bits and pieces scribbled in notebooks, onto scraps of paper but no paragraphs.
NaNoWriMo was the push I’d needed to sit, get a work ethic. I only found out about it a few days before it started and had no plan, no outline, but I sat and wrote.
During November I managed to write well over the 50,000 words. But at the end I felt I had no plot, perhaps I had a few short stories with all my disconnected days writings.
Hearing advice to ‘leave your novel’ for editing until January, to distance yourself from your words to come back fresh I thought ‘Well, I have no end to my novel anyway I need to keep writing.’
December 1st I started with an idea. My November ideas would last a days worth, sometimes two but then my brain that was so full of unwritten thoughts would jump to something new. But my idea, a theme if not a plot has continued everyday. Now December 24 I actually have a chunk of what could be a novel.
The best advice I’ve read is to remember ‘to just write, it is only a first draft, it will only get better.’
So when January hits and I start to edit I hope I can focus and do the work needed to make my words more publishable.
But if nothing else, if I just keep writing first drafts for the rest of my life, well that’s okay too.
I Am Writing!