I am often daunted by writing. I tend towards brevity which is why blogging comes so naturally to me. I can reduce a story to its essential elements and still make you think and laugh and feel. At least that's the hope. But this means that longer essays and projects intimidate me because I can't imagine stringing all those words together, because a big story is so much harder to tell than a small one. This month, I did NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo to challenge myself to write more, to experiment, to shake loose the words in my head. And I succeeded.
I wrote a novel - 50,164 words. The story requires more words and massive editing but I did it.
I wrote 34 blog posts in 30 days - 17,459 words - and, as in years past, wrote a couple of pieces that I like.
But more important than those thousands of words, I learned a lot about myself.
1. I am not an undisciplined slacker.
I often think of myself in this way and it doesn't serve me. It's time to let go of that narrative.
2. I can write long pieces if I set small goals each day.
The quote on this page has long been a favorite of mine but this month, I lived the truth of it.
3. I exert too much control over my words at times.
In order to write all the words I wrote this month, I had to let go. I didn't have the luxury of agonizing over each word and sentence and found myself feeling playful with words in a way I hadn't in a long time.
4. I can appreciate the journey.
I have always said that I'm about the destination, not the journey. I want a finished product and to know how it will be used. This limits my creativity and constrains my writing. I don't know what, if anything, will become of the novel I wrote this month but I enjoyed writing it and I fell in love with the characters and that was such a pleasant surprise.
5. I need to start taking credit for accomplishments.
So, I'm going to start right here, right now. I wrote 67, 623 words this month. No matter what happens with those words, that is an accomplishment.
To all those who wrote this month, congratulations! To all those who read, thank you! To November, you were a gift.