He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
— Edgar A. Guest, It Couldn’t Be Done
I’m now a first-time NaNoWriMo winner. 50,232 words. My finished novel(la) is one of those bad first drafts that I wouldn’t dare show a soul, but I’m proud of it all the same. NaNoWriMo is really about giving yourself permission to just write and not stop and judge.
It was a difficult month to take such a task on, given that I was out of town enough that it was more like 20 days than 30. Still, I quickly learned that I can write a lot more in a day than I’d ever thought. Some days were over 4,000 words. I’m going to try and keep up a similar writing schedule now that November is over. Maybe I’ll even try an artwork-a-week idea for the times I need a break from words and want to go visual.
Things I discovered while NaNoWriMo-ing that are useful with any kind of goal:
- Surround yourself with like-minded folks. When you’re all driving toward a goal together, the trip is a lot more fun.
- Realize you don’t need hours to get things done. Ten or fifteen minutes here and there, if you focus, can accomplish a lot.
- Find inspiration. Yep, that might mean carving out a little time to read or go for a walk or listen to music. Odds are you’ll return fresh and with new ideas, thus making the time well spent.
- Tell yourself you can do this and imagine it done. Don’t doubt you’ll reach your goal. Only focus on the positive.
Congratulations to those of you who won this year and also to those who made the attempt, whether you finished or not. Here’s to the year ahead—may it be filled with good news and great things!