My First NaNoWriMo Experience:
In November of 2008, my dear friend Sera Rivers challenged
me to compete in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) contest. In order
to win, each competitor needed to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days. There
was no cost and no tangible prizes. Victory meant self-satisfaction at
achieving a goal.
I accepted the challenge. How hard can it be to write 1,666 words a day? I already had the idea for my second novel. It seemed the perfect time to start it.
I found out it was very hard. Especially with kids around, chores to do,
and an unplanned illness that befelled me for nearly a week.
About halfway through the month, I was way behind. But, I didn't give
up. I set daily and weekly goals for myself. I typed like crazy and
fell in love all over again with the art of writing.
It came down to the wire for me. On the last day, I had around 1,000
words to go and my family was coming over for dinner. I felt confident I
could do it all. So, as my brothers and sisters and mom started to
arrive, I left my word count alone.
But, a nagging voice kept telling me to finish. I reasoned that it would
be more fun to win with my family around. With my brother and nephew
watching, I clacked away the last 250 words.
I was ecstatic! I had done it. I saved and posted. I
sat and stared at the picture that popped up. I had 'won'!
And then, my grandmother passed out. I got a ride in an ambulance and
spent the rest of the evening at the hospital with her, my mother and
Like most things I have found in life, the experience was bittersweet.
Success and struggle had both appeared, moments apart. But as I watched
to clock close in on midnight, I realized I had learned a lot. I had
learned perseverance was worth it, family matters, and to ALWAYS listen to
that nagging voice in my head!