It was 10:15 last night when I put the last word on the last page, ending what I considered to be one of the most important months in my career as an author. It was important, because I learned more in November about creative writing than I could ever have imagined.
I put my life on hold for practically the entire month. I worked on my novel every day, but I didn’t always reach my goal of 1,700 words. It was tough; work, family, Thanksgiving, migraines, and lack of motivation kept me from completing the overall goal of 50,000 words in 30 days (I wrote 40,294 words, but I finished my story). However, I don’t see it as a failure.
I knew a week ago I wasn’t going to make my goal, and confided to my fiancé that I knew I would finish my story by then. But there was no way I would get to 50,000.
“But you worked so hard on it, and you’ll feel really bad it you don’t ….”
Honestly, I don’t feel bad at all about it. I didn’t do it to prove to anyone I could do it. I did it so I could learn from it. I did it for the experience. And now, I know the price I have to pay if I ever needed to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. I would basically have to put everything else on hold and put all my efforts into that novel. I would have to ignore my duties as a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, and a friend just so I could complete the task.
I truly enjoyed writing the novel, but it’s not done. The editing alone will take a few months, at the very least. Which is fine with me. I’m ready to take a few days off to work on all my other projects that have been waiting patiently for me.
My advice for people wanting to do the challenge next November:
- This will take most of your spare time. Let your friends and family know you won’t be available for the month.
- Stick to you goal of 1,700 words a day. Once you get behind, it’s extremely difficult to catch up.
- Don’t give up. (If you started the challenge with a purpose, chances are you won’t have to worry too much about this one.)
- Gather a support team. Whether it’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, brother, sister, kids, whoever; you will need them to help you brainstorm and keep you on track. They will also become your cheerleaders.
Next year I will be better prepared. And I will also have an advantage; it will no longer be my first.