I am a writer.
Yeah, I know it’s hard to tell.
But it’s true.
What is also true is that I have been utterly unfaithful to my writing calling. Utterly. As of today, no more. Time to be true to myself. Time to stop the apologies for writing, for daydreaming, for imagining, for spending so much time inside my head. Today I grant myself the freedom to be me without feeling guilty.
Last fall I participated in National Novel Writing Month, AKA NaNo. Every year during November writers all over the world converge on the web to encourage each other to write 50,000 words in one month. Crazy? Yes. But, oh, so much fun. For several years I kind of half heartedly participated, typically dropping out after a week or less. But last fall, really late summer, I decided I really wanted to win NaNo. I started late September prepping for the November marathon by setting a goal of writing at least 100 words in my journal every day. Every. Single. Day. Guess what? I did it. By mid October I woke up with a need to get some words out of my pen onto the paper of my journal.
Roll on November 1, 2014 and the beginning of NaNo.
I attended a local write in. I highly recommend doing that if you ever participate in NaNo. I only made it to one, but it makes the online group a little more personal.
I attended several online write ins in our local group’s chat room. What fun! What inspiration! I wrote several thousand words during our chat room word wars.
By the third week of November I knew I was in a good position to finish strong. But that saggy middle, oh will it come back to bite you in the tail! That was hard. Perhaps the hardest, and maybe worst, writing I’ve ever done. And no one, not one soul, will ever read it as is. Ever. Don’t ask. I cried, kicked, screamed, thought about giving up. But I pushed through that week to enter the last week of November ready to finish strong.
On November 29, 2014, I reached my goal. I won NaNo for the first time!! My word count for the month: 50,227 words. I am still proud of myself for that.
But then I stopped. I closed that Word file. I put down my pen. I didn’t even write in my journal for a few weeks.
All that hard work and momentum. And I just freaking stopped. Stupid. Just plain stupid and lazy. And weak.
Enough beating myself up. And also enough ignoring my passion.
That’s where the title of this post comes in, the writing challenge part. My challenge to myself is to write 500 words per day. Doesn’t matter whether those 500 words are a blog post, journal entry, or part of my novel in progress. For my personal challenge, at least 500 words have to be on a single piece of writing. I will also post a weekly update every Sunday evening.
Are you a writer? Have you allowed yourself to stop writing? Are you tired of excuses? Join me in this challenge.