NaNo 2019 Day 5 — The beauty of creating

“The world needs your novel.”

Or so the good people over at NaNoWriMo headquarters would have us believe.

But I’m not convinced. I don’t know that the “world” will be better off if I manage to dash out a full 50k words in a single month. Why would the “world” even care?

My first NaNo was back in 2012. I’d tried for years to “just write,” and never made it further than a chapter or two. When I found out about NaNo, it was like I’d been given permission to let go of my fear and just pour anything onto the page. Permission to devote time to my craft even though it didn’t pay me. Permission to let go of my worries about whether my writing was — or would ever be — “good enough.” Permission to aim high, and to feel proud.

I only made it to about 20k that year, but that was HUGE by my standards.

The following year, I read Chris Baty’s No Plot? No Problem! cover to cover and couldn’t wait for November to roll around again. That was the first time I actually won NaNo, eking out just over 50k. It was like I’d leveled up from noob to junior writer. Actually finishing a book no longer seemed out of reach. If I could make it to 50k in a single month, I could do anything!

It did not turn into a daily writing goal that stuck with me after November (that’s probably a topic for another post). It did not magically turn into a published book. It did not even magically turn into something I could send to agents — boy did it need a lot of editing and revising!

But the thing about NaNo is that even an amateur like me can accomplish something that feels so big in just a short amount of time. And for those, like me, who were waiting for permission, NaNo granted it in spades.

Dreaming big was the first part. Whether anything else ever comes of my story or not, I’ve learned a great deal about the craft of writing. About my personal tastes. About how hard I can push myself to meet a goal or a deadline. And about the beauty that can be found in making art just to make it. Just for me.

So, while the “world” may not have needed my story, I needed it to expand my world.

And the journey to create, to express, to share my stor(ies) has fundamentally changed me in the best possible ways.

Happy NaNo-ing!

I’ll be blogging my NaNo 2019 journey right here, so feel free to follow along. And let me know in the comments how your NaNo journey has changed you.

Photo by Sergio Souza on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “NaNo 2019 Day 5 — The beauty of creating

  1. The world needs your story. I believe whether for the story itself or for the you who emerges in the other side of finishing the goal.

    Sometimes the reward is in the journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.