NaNoWriMo Hearts Me.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of ones dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Henry David Thoreau

My first NaNoWriMo experience, so far, has been a study in hard work and discipline, with both being extremely fun, creative and exhilarating in the process!

I can do it! I’m doing it! I’m so excited! 

I have 13,584 words as of today, and minusing the 4613 words I wrote before going into NaNo, (as I’m expanding a story into a novel), it leaves me with 8,971 NaNo words. I’m more than happy with my steady progress so far, and look forward each morning to another NaNo day.

I’m really loving the new set-up of specific, daily writing time and a daily word count. I’ve never counted words or pages before — and I’m very surprised to find that this new approach does not squealch my creativity nor tether my muse’s wings.

My goal of 1700 words a day, although I go over into 1800 and 1900 words, fits right into my schedule — after the morning feeding, but before the afternoon mucking. There is where you’ll find me, typing away.

It’s true, though, that I’m more tired than I’d usually be, but it’s the good kind of tired that comes with doing something hard and sticking to your word.   

My novel has jumped from five to fifty pages, and the slow build pulls from me something different than the waiting for inspiration, writing all night, writing-in-chaotic-chunks-or-nothing-at all, disorderly way I’ve always written.

NaNoWriMo, over all, is teaching me craft; feeding me 1700 words a day that validate my ability to write, to reach for the stars, to set a goal and meet it and even, yes, control the muse for a few lucky hours.

NaNoWriMo also underlines the good old work ethic, how nothing just falls into our laps, and how even novels are built up a little at a time, and over time. All you need to bring to the table is the will to do the work and the promise (to yourself) to follow through.

The universe will do the rest, really, funneling ideas through that invisible writer’s antennae wobbling on top of your head. The hardest part is letting go, and letting the word magic take over. But once you do, even if you’re disbelieving the words will come all the way up until you sit in front of the computer or paper, they’ll come — because you’re letting them. 

If you believe they’re there somewhere, they’ll come.

It’s the stunning writing secret NaNoWriMo has known all along.   


8 Responses

  1. Isn’t it amazing? The first year I did Nano really changed me as a writer. I was amazed at how much easier it was to get that word count down than I’d thought it would be. And the universe does conspire to send creative characters and ideas in your direction. Glad to see your creative fire is still stoked! Keep at it. (It gets a little tougher slogging in the second or third week sometimes)

  2. Hello Uppington!

    Yes, it IS amazing. I can’t believe I’m able to do it in the first place!

    I’d bet the third week, after three weeks of writing, but a week away from finishing, could be tough.

    I go to the paper having no idea where Carly is actually going next, or what’s happening, : ) and I just take a deep breath and figure it’ll come, and it does.

    So far, so good (knocking on my wooden head)

    Em : )

  3. Em,

    Another beautiful post, as always. I am so glad you are doing NaNo so we can share this incredible experience.

    I’m finding the more I write…the more the Muses shine upon me. They evidently snub their noses at sloth!

    Keep us posted. I love hearing about your progress.

    -Tasha 🙂

  4. I’ve written a whole novel (80,000 words) in a month before, so I know I can write a lot in a day–but I’ve never done it with an actual job. The only time I have available to write is from 5pm to about 10pm, and it takes me about two or three hours to get through 1700 words sometimes.

    But I’m doing it, too. 🙂 I can’t do every day, too busy for that, but damn does it feel great to know I’m finally getting this baby to the page in a way that will let me get finished. It’s not as good as I’d like, not as tight as I’d like, but the wonderful thing about computers now-a-days is that it’s easy to edit.

    The catharsis of writing is just great. It’s hard while you do it, but when you look back at what you wrote, realize “Woah, that’s not so bad,” suddenly it’s a whole different ball game.

    Snaps for a great post. 🙂

  5. Tasha — ditto, ditto and ditto. : )

    I’m glad it’s going so well for you! : ) And you — already in the midst of another novel, and now you’ll have a NEW novel. Big wows to you.


    What a Christmas gift, huh? The best one of all, if anyone asked me.

    Em : )

  6. Hooray for you, K! : )

    And big welcomes, I love new faces. : )

    An 80,000 word novel in a month? Wow! That is amazingly prolific! I couldn’t do it. Good for you!

    I don’t think any of our NaNo novels are “tight” or as good as they’ll be once they’re edited and polished. But that’s the spirit of NaNo, right? A first draft. A viable first draft.

    And yes — “catharsis” is the perfect word. It’s almost mystical, sometimes.

    I write in a flow state, and don’t always remember writing what I’ve written. I’m actually looking forward to reading my first draft when it’s over, to see what I wrangled onto the page.

    It’s also the first time I’m not going back over previously written material until the project is finished. Because I’m not going back over it, the tedious, perfectionist part of writing (for now) has been thrown out the window. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had writing!


  7. Hi Em, Love the boots by the way. My avatar is actually a snippet from a piece of paisley fabric. All very 70’s I’m afraid and not very helpful to your quest. Good luck with your NaNoWriMo challenge!

  8. Hi Virtual Hippe! : )

    They’re definitely my fave boots, even though they’re work boots, really.

    They’re Ariat boots — if you want cowboy boots you can wear for hours on end, for style or for work/horses, that are as comfortable as sneakers, Ariat is the way to go.

    Thank you so much for the luck on NaNo, for stopping by, and for your comment. : )

    Your avatar looks just like the picture I lost, it’s uncanny. In the picture, The Fool (from the Tarot deck) stands with his staff and little dog on top of a hill in a country town, and the spiral signifies eternity. It is a really cool picture, and I thought I’d found it again!


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