This was the first year in which I even thought of considering – attempting the idea of – writing a novel. It came to me about eight months ago; as I started to really make notes for my blog and reading voraciously in the attempt to… well, basically learn.
I didn’t want to write a long novel… Those that really know me would agree that my attention span wouldn’t allow anything like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series or even anything by Steven King – both amazingly prolific writers. My goal was to put together a single story, from beginning to end. And as you’ll see by my blogging history (to the right), I’m anything but consistent.
I’ve always loved to write, but I’ve really never given it a chance.
Then, early in November, I read an article in the Des Moines Register about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In a nutshell, it’s when (truly motivated) writers try to put together a 50,000-word (175 pages) novel in a single month – from November 1st through the 30th. That works out to just over 1,600 words a day.
Insane? Yup. Motivation? Heck yeah!
As I sat and read the article, out loud, to my wife and daughter, my head was swimming with stories that I’d already started. I had stories covering every subject from fantasy to tech and on through romance and adventure. Heck, I even had a stack of poetry that I could edit and put together for a head start. I thought I had this challenge licked…
So, fast-forward to today… the 28th of the month. I’ve been writing. I’ve been editing. But I’m not going to make the goal of 50,000 words by Friday. Most likely, I’ll have about 20,000 combined by two stories I’ve stared. “Dang” (edited for content).
My wife, on the other hand, has about 47,000 words and will likely have over the 50,000 by the weekend. So, I smile.
What have I learned? I still love to write. Actually, I have a greater passion for writing today than I’ve had in over 15 years. I learned that I’m a perfectionist, a pessimist, an idealist, a romantic, and a procrastinator.
But, I also learned that motivation and discovery come from unique places. My wife, who is truly brilliant, found motivation in my excitement. She wasn’t even trying to reach the NaNoWriMo goal. But by supporting me, by listening to me, she began to write when I wrote. She now writes after dinner and late into the night… every night.
I started this NaNoWriMo challenge in the hopes of achieving a goal… I didn’t reach my goal, but here’s what did achieve:
1) I posted more to my blog this month than ever before.
2) I read three books (one for hobby, one was technology-based, and one was a compilation of essays written for NPR).
3) I learned that my daughter has a wonderful imagination and about 5,000 impressive words of her own…
So, Where do you find your motivation (writing, drawing, singing, Indian leg wrestling…)?
Have you ever set a goal you didn’t achieve, but felt good about anyway?
Please, tell me about it. I’d love to learn from you.