My NaNoWriMo journey started in 2008. A coworker friend of mine mentioned this crazy challenge—writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. What? The wannabe novelist inside me was intrigued. The competitive side of me that always loves a challenge was aroused. I attempted my first NaNoWriMo that year, and have participated every year since. I’ve only “won”—written 50,000 words or more—five times since. But this year was my biggest word count and my fastest win. I crossed the finish line after 15 days! I finished with a total of 92,268 words.
I finished the draft of Can’t Hurry Love, book four of the Never a Bride series (coming your way in 2021) as well as wrote on two other projects. I’m thrilled with my month, and I am especially proud of the students who took my NaNoWriMo Prep class back in October through the Westport Writers’ Workshop. Not only did all of them “win,” they banded together to form their own writing group, and I couldn’t be prouder of them for putting themselves in the chair, and getting those words down on the page. Their books might not all be finished, but they’re all 50,000 words closer to the end. Because that’s what NaNoWriMo is about—not necessarily about finishing a book, definitely not about writing a good book. It’s about leaving your inner critic at the door, sitting down every day and putting words on the page. It’s about showing yourself you can write regularly, you can sustain an idea, and you have the discipline to do it.
I have to thank the Fairfield County Writers Group, led by NaNo Municipal Liaison Rekka Jay, for getting me writing at 7AM most days, as well as holding other virtual write-ins throughout the month. Thanks also to my NaNo class for inviting me to their write-ins, and my Virtual Write-in Facebook group for giving me so many wonderful writing appointments day in and day out.
Congratulations to everyone who attempted NaNo this year, no matter how many words you got down on the page. Keep writing!