You know the feeling when you want to accomplish something big that’s going to take some substantial time and commitment, something that you really, really want that might be easy to start, but nearly impossible to finish because life keeps getting in the way?
Over the years there’s been a lot of things like that that I’ve wanted to do:
- Run a 5K (I quit after one day of running because as it turns out, I really hate running)
- Learn Italian (I always end up speaking English because it’s more comfortable)
- Become a really good cook (I hate cooking just for myself and majorly dislike cleaning up)
- Start a blog (I’ve been super inconsistent over the past two years, and nobody reads my blog…but hey, I’m still blogging, so that must count for something!)
- And the big one….write a novel
It’s been my dream to be a writer since I was six years old and we “published” a book as a class assignment. I always got the impression that I couldn’t just be a writer, and that I needed some other career as my “real” job. Journalism isn’t really my thing (I prefer creative writing), so I figured teaching English would keep me the closest to my beloved writing, and I’d have summers off to write. As we all know, a plan might eventually lead us to our goal, but not always by the route we chose. Since I became a teacher five years ago, I have never had a summer off.
Seven years ago I heard about a thirty day writing challenge called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, held every November. The objective is to finish 50,000 words in a month, which means writing around 1,667 words a day. If you finish, you “win.” Seven years ago I didn’t make it past one day before other life commitments sucked me in and I dropped NaNoWriMo like a hot potato.
There really is a time for everything, and I’m happy to say this year I won NaNoWriMo! (Hence the reason why I’ve been absent from the blog). This challenge gave me more than my 50,000+ word novel draft. It doesn’t even ultimately matter what becomes of my manuscript, I am so happy that I finally sat down and wrote my heart out. Most of all NaNo gave me a blueprint for how to commit to my goals, and showed me how much a little daily progress produces big results in as little as a month.
My book draft is taking a rest this month, so I’m ready to tackle a new thirty day challenge: an hour of Italian a day. (I was tempted to start with 2 hours a day, but I’ve started another project that needs a lot of attention). I’m so inspired after NaNoWriMo that not only are my dreams possible, but that I can actually commit to them. This is big for a multi-passionate person like me.