It came down to the wire this year– yesterday was day 29 of NaNoWriMo.
I had 35,777 more to go.
There’s something about having a goal, one you know you’ve reached before and that feeling, the one that doesn’t let you be less than what you’ve been. I didn’t want to lose this year, I had to reach the goal. 50,000 words, I had to reach it.
I started on day one. Now I may have missed days 2-7, but I promise, I started on day one. By day 2, I was behind.
It’s not that I didn’t know what I needed to write, that wasn’t it. I’ve had this story in my head for a while, one that allowed for the collision of so many different worlds to come together into one incredible novel that only makes sense once you turn that last page. Then that “oh” moment makes you sit back and wonder how you got from the start to finish in the first place.
That’s the kind of moment that makes you want to read a book again, right after you read it the first time, because somehow there’s got to be more.
More. There’s got to be more. That has been my writing process.
It’s been a struggle to catch up once I got behind. Every day I wrote a little more and a little more, but it didn’t feel like enough. i wasn’t even going for the substance of my writing, no, that isn’t the point of NaNoWriMo.
The point is to hit that 50,000, because if you do, that means you’ve been writing. Consistently. Unless you’re one of those people to knock it out in under a week, the idea is to hit that word count because you’ve spent thirty days creating one world and one story.
It’s about the commitment to creating something that hasn’t been put on paper yet.
So did I commit?
After weeks of making late night time for writing, among the studying and the constant reading, I kept going. At first it was hard to find the story, to figure out just what I was trying to say. They say that the characters choose their lives and we’re not allowed to change their story once it’s set.
Whatever happens happens, we put our pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and let the story come as it may. I committed to writing a story, all those words in one month so I could meet my goal, but even more so, so I could create a world.
And here we are, November 30th, the final day of NaNoWriMo.
I’m at 35K words, just short of 50,000 by a few days of hard work. I haven’t written a single word since yesterday, well, I don’t plan to before the clock turns and strikes the first of December at 12am. I am not a winner for National Novel Writing Month this year and I’m okay with that.
Because I realized that as of right now, my finals start on Monday and there are things beyond my story that need my focus. Writing for me will always be a priority, but so will my studies.
Besides, believe it or not, my goal for the month wasn’t hitting 50,000.
I wanted to get that novel started, the one I’ve been thinking about for months. I wanted to find that space where I knew my characters and I found the story I needed to tell, that was my goal— in 35,000 words, I found that goal. I didn’t need to keep going.
It isn’t about consolation or even technically “losing” NaNoWriMo. I’m on track for my studying and all the readings I’ve had to do, and I found my story.
For me, that’s a success.
So with an unfinished novel and a busy two weeks ahead, happy Friday everyone. I hope you find your own success today, even if all that means is changing your perspective.