November has come and gone and with it, NaNoWriMo has come to its end. How did you fare? Did you meet your goal? Are you eagerly anticipating the editing stage?
I ended the evening of November 30th with a total word count of 22, 186.
WIP word count (not included in NaNoWriMo): 7,590
Word count end of NaNoWriMo: 14,596
But that’s still progress to me. In thirty days time, I nearly tripled my original word count. And I wrote only four or five of those thirty days. But my takeaway from this NaNoWriMo is so much bigger than word count.
I learned more about myself from this attempt at NaNoWriMo. For much of the year (for much of the past five years) I’ve been a part-time writer. I’ve waited for inspiration to strike before I felt the need to sit down at keyboard and tap out my thoughts. In the past, I’ve struggled to maintain inspiration and motivation to continue writing. Rather, I would shelve projects and let them collect dust, waiting…waiting…waiting for the muse to show. As a result, I’m much further behind than I had hoped to be where my writing goals are concerned. But that’s okay. It’s not the destination that’s important, but the journey.
This year alone, I’ve taken a few missteps. A few wrong turns. Trial and error with various passion projects has shown me the light (or the light of October’s Full Moon has shown me the light) and guided me back to my truest passion.
While NaNoWriMo 2016 was a bust for me, my takeaway was this: it’s so much more important to write everyday. To commit to my writing. To make it, and my time a priority. To finally give it the respect it deserves. Because in writing each day, I can declare myself a writer.
When I think back on the past month, on the handful of days I spent writing, I’m reminded of how happy and proud I felt. That first weekend I texted Corey and my parents and brother my word count for the day.
Saturday: I wrote 5,464 words today!
Sunday: I wrote 4,691 today!
It didn’t matter that the words belonged to a first draft. It didn’t matter that no one would read the text in its entirety until after a rewrite (or two…or three and many, many editing sessions!). It didn’t matter that the words might not even exist after a rewrite. What mattered was that I took the time to show my passion the care and respect it deserved. What mattered was that my heart and my soul felt completely and wholly fulfilled and at peace.
Which made me think of the days where I didn’t write. Whether that was because I was feeling ill or tired or busy with other tasks. Each night ended the same. With the thought, I didn’t get to write today, repeating in my mind. And the horrible sadness I felt because I hadn’t written that day.
Which leads me into my final 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge post. A fitting end to a wonderful journey of exploring all that I have to be grateful for these past thirty days. And I find myself craving a new challenge. One called the Write Chain challenge.
Set a goal. Write it every day. Earn your links. Forge a magnificent chain. And that’s Write Chain in a nutshell.
Beginning today, December 1st, I challenge myself to write 200 words.
Every. Damn. Day.
It’s time to commit to my writing. To myself. And to my truest path.