The end of November is a fearful day for NaNoWriMoers. These writers are finger cramped, shoulder achy, and brains are pulled like taffy. The 30th of November is a time to cheer and/or a time to cry. They have to write a novel in a month. That’s 50, 000 words!
Here’s how it happens:
National Novel Writing Month…November.
Goal: Write 50, 000 words in a month.
November 1st: Writers at the ready? On your marks, get set…GO!
November 3rd: Thinking everything’s fine. A little behind, but that’s alright.
The first Saturday: Turn off the phone, ignore people that live in the house…write like the end of the month is tomorrow.
Sunday…day off. Saturday took all the writing ability out leaving fingers and arms like wet noodles. 3,000 words over the target. Do’in alright.
This lasts until the next Saturday.
November 11th: Take the day off for Remembrance Day (Canadian Holiday) Push writing aside, only a few thousand words off of the goal…
November 18…another Saturday…when did that happen? Oh! No! No…no…no! Write with fingers on fire. Nothing makes sense but it’s words, that’s all it needs is words…right!
Four sleepless nights, 79 pots of coffee, 13 bags of chips, and 2-3 missed showers later. Finally back on track.
November 25: The last Saturday of the month. Sleep becomes a distant memory. Could cry tears of coffee. Might turn in to a potato chip…when is the last time a real meal was eaten? What’s that smell?
November 30: Finally did it. A winner! A winner! Pumps arms in the air. The smell knocks out the dog and cat from the stink, but it’s okay. A NaNoWriMo Winner!
I’ve devoted 4 years to National Novel Writing Month. I won all four times, although I deleted last years win from the website. That’s how badly I pushed myself. The whole thing was a mess.
This year I aimed higher than the 50, 000 because I had won each year I’d competed. This year I aimed for 60, 000 finishing with 62, 000. I was quite proud of myself for getting there. I did, however, avoid all contact with the world outside of my own imaginary one. I did shower, go to work, and eat regular meals. Other years…well, not so much.
What National Novel Writing Month has taught me:
I’ve learned that I can write a novel in two months. Why it takes me until November every year to complete my novel is due to the goal. I need to start setting personal goals, as well as keep to those goals. Without them, I don’t think I’d get anything done. This is something I am going to strive for in 2018. I will start setting personal goals. Who knows maybe in November 2018 I will be working on a whole new trilogy.
C. B. Dixon
To All Those Writers in NaNoWriMo,
I know that you tried your hardest. The month is a hard adventure that can take you to some strange places; physically and mentally. Remeber on all the good times; laughs you might have shared with your characters, writing buddies, or things that happened to you while you were writing. Remember all the friends you might have met online as you posted for help, shared stories, or Instagrammed a picture. Reflect on all the fumbles, mistakes, and blocks that you might have had. How did you get past all of it? Did you grow stronger as a writer because of it?
To Those Who Didn’t Make the 50k,
Life can get in the way of many things. You put yourself out there, you tried. Great job! It’s hard to write a novel in a month. I hope to see you next year, and the year after that, and then the year after that.
To Those Who Won,
Congratulations! Your back must be sore. Go relax with a nice cup of something other than coffee/tea. Maybe a bottle of rum? See you next year!