Saturday, December 10, 2011

Never By Halves

This last month, I did something crazy.

I wrote a book.

November is National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for those in the know) and people all around the world aspire to get a draft of their novel done, starting November 1st and finishing by November 30th. All you have to do is write 50,000 words in 30 days. That's 1,667 words a day. That's hard.

Someone I kinda-sorta knew told me she was doing it for the second year, and couldn't wait to start her novel tomorrow (she told me about it on Halloween.) I thought back to a brief vision I had a long time ago in High School. I had always dreamed of writing something that would inspire people, but never seemed to find the motivation to actually do it. So I went ahead and signed up, thinking it might be a fun "whatever" project.

It turned out to be an amazing experience.

Writing almost two thousand words a day when you're in college is really difficult. Especially when you also hold two and a half jobs as well, and are part of two clubs on top of that. Yikes! But I made sure that I did it; every moment of free time was spent cranking something out. It didn't have to have a particular place in the novel, it just had to be something. After about five thousand words I ran out of the few scenes that were begging to be written in my head. But somehow I managed to keep going!

The girl I barely knew is now one of my best friends; she and I would spend at least two days a week in my room writing furiously with Law&Order streaming from Netflix in the background. I would make cider, or milkshakes, or fruit smoothies, or whatever, and we would barely say a word to each other for four hours at a time.

Amazingly, when the end of November started rolling around, I found that I had already reached the goal of NaNoWriMo! I had writted 50,000 words in 23 days. Ye Gods and little fishes.

And there's my proof!

I have a lot of editing to do, but I actually have something I can hold up and say "I did this! I wrote a book!"

I heard a lot as a kid "If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when do you have time to do it over again?" This usually applied to cleaning something, but I also think it applies to life goals. If you don't make the time in your life for those little niggling life goals, how long will they bother you? Will it be something you regret when you're forty? Fifty? Eighty?

Well now I can scratch off one life goal. I wrote a book. Now I just have to edit it and make enough money from it to live happily ever after.

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