What NaNo really looks like


National Novel Writing Month or affectionately called by its participants, NaNoWriMo, is a sprint to write 50,000 words in 30 days! It is a challenge to not only get in that amount of words but also to find the time to write, often for hours a day. For a lot of participants, like myself, normal daily activities get pushed to the proverbial ‘back burner’ and either do not get done at all or are picked up by other family members. For a lot of us, we know the demands of this challenge and have made certain accommodations or arrangements with family members to help pick up the slack. Spouses, children and often even extended family such as siblings and parents either chip in or, at the very least, are understanding when we are less available during this time.

I for one, am blessed to have the support of my entire family, but things still get left undone, or half-done (as is normal with teenagers, right?). Laundry may get washed but sit around the house in baskets, the meals I took the time to prep at the beginning of the month get burnt or never started. And let’s not mention the dishes… UGH! If it doesn’t go in the dishwasher, it doesn’t get washed without an adult-sized meltdown by the momma that is in search of her favorite teacup that just happens to NOT be dishwasher safe.. (Why does any manufacturer make such a thing anymore? I mean, seriously!? Heathens, I tell ya!)

I have honestly been sleeping curled around a pile of clean clothes and my messenger bag for weeks now and last night, they were finally knocked to the floor. I started to get upset and yell, then I realized, this was my mess and my fault. Instead of scanning Social Media for “Inspiration”, *coughs* horseshit, I SHOULD be doing something ACTIVE. Those super-smart Scientist people actually say that physical activity makes you think clearer… Yet I sit on my butt all day and stare a blinking cursor wishing words would come… *facepalm*

Even when it does things to us we are not always proud of, why do we continue to do this time and time again? Year after year why do we submit ourselves and our families to this craziness? Simple! For me, it’s the challenge! The adventure! The endless possibilities and the promise of some amazing, and not so amazing, stories being told. I for one, look forward to it every year. Even though I love schedules and routines, I can’t wait for November to come. (For the truly dedicated, we even do a similar challenge in July!)

Another thing it does for us that I like is it helps us create a new habit of writing daily. Experts say it takes about 21 days to create a new habit and NaNo gives us 30 days of writing something creative every day. If I can write even 10 minutes every single day, then I am creating a new habit that will carry over into the next month and beyond. If I expect to become a famous published author, I need that habit in my life.  SO what does NaNoWriMo really look like? Chaos wrapped in a beautiful bow of community and togetherness and new, amazing habits that can affect your entire future. Come write with me!

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