Saturday, June 11, 2016

One Hundred Days...Eleven Days In...Part II

Over the next several months, I basically ignored my second novel and worked on other things. When late October rolled around again and I received my yearly invitation to participate in NaNoWriWo I ignored it too. I ignored it until several friends mentioned that they were going to participate and had already warned their families that they might have to cook a meal for themselves or go out to eat on occasion. This WAS the year they were going to accomplish this task and nothing was going to stand in their way.

Not hungry family members. Nor a traditional holiday. Not even their usual self-doubt was going to impede them from finishing this 50K word challenge. I thought about it for a second or two and thought “I can do that, too” (and I don’t have any kids) (just a HUGE amount of self-doubt) so why not give it another try.

What made this particular attempt different from the others was the way some of my friends were keeping track of their progress. November is also the month where many on Facebook share 30 days of thankfulness in combination with the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a simple thing, really, just share a few words in a status post about whatever you are thankful for any given day.

Again, something in my brain clicked and I decided that was indeed something I could do too. I even took it one step further and combined the status post with a mention that I had achieved my daily word count for the day. There it was….out in the open…for everyone to see…or at least all of my Facebook friends. I also planned on walking for 30 minutes every day and writing a small blog post here to let my readers know what I was up too.

I’d be lying if I said it was easy. Not by a longshot. I found out in the beginning if I was writing freely and the words were coming with no trouble then I would keep writing until I needed to stop. I know some friends reported that they wrote every day while others reported writing five days a week. I wrote every day, but on the days I had kept writing, I had stockpiled several thousand words, so I counted those extra words on the days that I fell short of the 1667 daily total.

On several days I wrote late into the night and there were even a couple of days I found myself writing at 3:00 am. After the first ten days or so my friends (who later told me this fact) began tuning in each day to see if I was on task.

I knew early on that I wasn’t going to write a complete novel. My novel is going to be nearly twice the 50K word goal. Another thing I realized to was that I just didn’t want to throw words on a page just for the sake of a word count. I wanted my words to matter. Why I bring this up is many people who have completed the challenge never intend on using the words they worked so hard to share. No way, Jose. Not me. If I was going to put this much effort into something, then you can be sure it’s going to be more than writing “very tough to do” 12,500 times.

And that’s what I did. I completed the whole enchilada. The whole kit and caboodle. I wrote 30 blog posts. I walked for 30 minutes every day. I wrote 50,286 words in 30 days.

And thank goodness there aren’t 31 days in November because the last two days of the month were the most difficult. The electricity was shut off most of that time and my bathroom had a leak that the handyman couldn’t seem to find. It was frustrating to put it mildly, but we worked around each other. I finished NaNoWriMo and the handyman, well, he couldn’t find the leak and was going to Florida for the winter. He’d be back in late May, he said, and if I hadn’t fixed the problem myself (which I do quite often) to give him a call.

And that’s what I did…

Check back for part III in a few days…

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