I always loved writing, but all of my writings I start, really trying to complete a long work, I without fail become discouraged and stop. It all feels too forced, most of the time the idea would come to me out of the blue, and I would drop everything to write out what I was thinking before it slipped my mind. I wrote myself into a brick wall, most of the time, which led me to want to write myself off a cliff, when you’re hardly 2,000 words in and you’ve already used up all of your plot points and ideas that once looked so promising.
However, even though this is essentially what always happens, I still consider myself to be a very enthusiastic and optimistic writer. When I get an idea, I can’t wait to start it. That’s why I waited anxiously, counting down the days until November 1st, the day NaNoWriMo began.
Last year, I tried it, but I ended up scrapping it on about the third day of writing. I was so discouraged it took me another twelve months to open another blank Google Doc and just go for it again.
This year, I don’t know what I did, but something in how I write is just different. Maybe I’ve learned more about the kind of writer I am through other novelists, and have been just exposed to more literature now. But most of all, I learned that the biggest, most important part of understanding how to write a novel in a month was to accept that it’s going to be sloppy, it’s going to be, probably, terrible, and it isn’t going to be easy. I never really followed the word limits last year, I was more of a free spirit on that front, but this year, aiming for 50,000 words, I see how extremely important it is to keep on schedule, and after missing November 1st and 2nd and I’m still trying to catch up from it, twelve days later.
Today was the best day I have ever had writing in my entire life. I wrote, easily and without strain 4,450 words, majorly helping me get back on track to meet my goal by the end of November. You know, I never understood in my childhood years why J.K. Rowling had to kill Sirius Black. I loved Sirius Black, you see. But now, I’m beginning to see that you don’t control a character. Really, you don’t! I never, until this day, understood that. Today I have no idea how it happened, but my keys typed the entrance of a character into my story, and he just became one of the most central and interesting characters in the novel. He says what he says, does what he wants, not what I create for him.
I’ve always loved, just, characters. I love finding this connection to another person, through reading, through books. They have always felt so real to me, and now, finally, my characters are beginning to take on a life of their own, as well. Just sitting down and allowing my characters to work through me and tell their own story is one of the most important, and just plain enjoyable, lessons I think I will take away from NaNoWriMo this year.