So… I was supposed to post something in the first week of November. That didn’t end up happening… National Novel Writing Month does this to my life a lot. This is the month that I give myself to my writing. This year I started two new jobs as well but if you asked me what my main priority this month has been I would tell you. Nano.
This is the reason I chose to volunteer when the ML (Municiple Liason) position became vacant. This is the month where if someone asks me what I do I might actually answer, “I am a writer.” I do not have any published novels. I have not polished any of the many files hiding in my writing folder into something that can be shared with others. But in November I truly believe that one day… One day I will finish those first drafts, or begin the long painful process of editing them into the polished pieces I know are in there… Somewhere… November I pour my soul onto the screen of my laptop with my lovely little program that makes nice typewriter noises as I type. I feel like a writer. The rest of the year I look at the things I have written and I criticize the style, the spelling, the typos… I see the flaws in my writing. But for this one month of the year I take that part of me that whispers that I am not good enough to call myself a writer and I lock it away. Whenever it yells through the bars of its cage that I spelled that wrong or I mistyped something, I ignore it and I keep writing. This year, this year I have managed something that I aim for every year. I have no zeros in the column of my spreadsheet entitled “Daily wordcount.” I had a number of days this month where I felt more ill than I have in years. But I still wrote something.
This year was my fifth year participating in Nano. I have failed only once. Last year I aimed for and achieved 75,000 words… On the 18th or 19th… So rashly at the beginning of this month I declared that I would get 100,000 words. I have never regretted something as much as I have regretted declaring that. But, at the same time I have not experienced Nano this way since that very first 50,000. The first year I did this insane challenge I saw these people with their 10,000 word days and I said ‘I have no idea how they do that!’. To be honest I still don’t, apart from they must type an awful lot faster than me. But when I passed that 50,000 word mark for the first time… I don’t know how to describe the feeling. The Relief. The Joy. The Amazement. The Pride. I had done this thing. I had written 50,000 words. My inner critic could harp on from his cage about how bad the words were, I didn’t care. I have not felt that same feeling again… until today. I have hit my 100,000 word goal. The lingering… Elation? Relief? whatever this emotion is. I truly hope that everyone experiences this at some point in their lives. Set yourself what seems like an impossible goal. It is a journey that you will remember.
ML for Christchurch.