I completed the NaNoWriMo challenge! I wrote more than 50,000 words in one month–a feat I never thought I could accomplish. It was a great experience: liberating, exhilarating, illuminating. I thought a goal of making around 2,000 words a day would be a chore, and it was a grind at first. Then, as the wells opened and the words started flowing, it became a real treat. Eventually, it was something I could do a few minutes at a time, instead of having to get up before all my friends and relations so I could work for a couple of quiet hours.

I would have been okay if I had NOT met the challenge, because my main purpose in signing up was to crack open that shell of “if it isn’t right the first time through, it’ll never be right” that I had constructed around myself. I wanted to be able to just haul off and slap something down that I could go back and clean up later, and that’s what the NaNo folks encourage you to do. I’m telling you, it was a blast.

Thanks to the folks at NaNoWriMo, and especially to my writing buddies who convinced me to try it. I’ll sign up again next year, for sure. I might not get through all the words in future years, I may get tied up or sidetracked or lose steam, but just signing up, just writing SOMETHING with buddies to slap my back and understand when the words or the time just won’t come will keep me feeling like a winner–because when you chase your dream, even if you don’t catch it, even when you get winded and have to stop for a while, you’re a winner!

MA

writing prompt: How athletic is your main character? Your bad guy? Who would win in a fist fight?

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