NaNoWriMo is over! And I did it!! Some people wonder why I torture myself, ignore my family, shun the dog, let my house go to hell—well, more than it already is—and s-t-r-e-s-s for 30 days just to get some extra words down.
Why? Because the things I learn about myself are priceless.
- I can actually write 3500 words in a day, over multiple days, and it’s not all complete doo doo. I can even write 47000 words in 21 days (I got a late start this year). Which all means that someday when I’m getting paid tens of dollars to do this, I will be able to meet my deadline.
- I can carve out 3-5 hours a day to write if I have a reason to.
- I have the discipline required to put off email, Twitter, blogging, reading, television, and laundry (oh wait, that I was supposed to do) in order to meet my goal. Now I just need to keep it going.
- I like writing! Despite the plot struggles and fights with my internal editor, when I sit down and write every day, the story ideas and improvements start flowing even when I’m not writing. My change log is almost 900 words all on its own, mostly from things I thought of while driving, or coming off a nap.
- I’m competitive. I like to win. So putting the goal out there taps into my sense of pride and helps me make the push to meet it. With that in mind, my new goal is to finish the first draft of the manuscript by January 15th. I expect you to hold me to it.
And, of course, there’s nothing better than finishing out a month with 50,000 new words—half a book—done!
What have you learned about yourself from a tough goal that you met? Or didn’t.
Ara Grigorian (@araTHEwriter)