I’ve pondered entering into the Natinal Novel Writing Month Challenge for six years and it’s time to take the plunge. Previously, I deemed taking part in NaNovWriMo in November an absurd proposition because of time constraints. The idea of writing a 50,000 word manuscript in thirty days, while running a bar and grill as well as keeping up with two blogs, and writing a book seemed insane. Thankfully Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place is published and getting rave reviews. However, writing it, as it turns out, was the easy part. Marketing a book is practically a full time job. I am also entrenched in my Guest Blogging class with Jon Morrow. The class requires an investment of twenty hours a week, a task I already find challenging. So why am I even considering taking the NaNoWriMo The participant testimonials in my October issue of Writers Digest Magazine provided me with four clear reasons.
• Writing fearlessly and with total abandon could reap surprising benefits. Lately I’ve been feeling creatively challenged. In fact I don’t have a clue what to write about. By joining a group of writers that are throwing caution to the wind in order to put words on the page I may release an inspired work that my subconscious didn’t know existed.
• I’m very competitive and once I give myself to a task I will not quit. Being held accountable by kindred spirits with the same goal will hold my feet to the fire. Sometimes I need the extra push of competition to get things done. Checking in with fellow writers and admitting that I have fallen 5000 words below my goal will not be a viable option.
• Tapping into a community of like-minded people who share their experiences (victories as well as tribulations) will help me to stay the course. There is something special about writers, where competition is involved. It’s not so much a loser, winner’s game. Writers don’t have to win the top prize. Just making it over the finish line with a completed manuscript makes us all winners. We rejoice in our comrades’ victories and offer each other encouragement every step of the way. A writing community is a wonderful place to hang out whether you are toasting victories or commiserating over defeats.
• At the end of the thirty day challenge I will have a 50,000 word rough draft. It took me seven years to finish the first draft of my memoir Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place. I stopped and started writing it many times over because I wasn’t sure which direction I should have been headed. Taking the NaNoWriMo challenge will be like driving with a blindfold on. It doesn’t matter where I’m headed, just as long as I reach the destination in thirty days.
So now I’ve put it out there. I’ve made a public proclamation that I will have to stand by. If you would like to join me in the challenge I’d love to have you along for the journey. Subscribe to my blog, message me on Facebook, or shoot me a Tweet and let’s do this thing together. It ought to be one heck of a ride.