NaNoWriMo changed my life. that seems kind of over the top, i know. but it’s sincerely true. when i thought i was learning how to plan out a story and put one word after the other, i was actually learning how to bravely take on challenges and persevere in the face of uncertainty. i also learned how to plan a novel and put one word after the other, but that’s only minorly life changing in comparison.
what i didn’t know, or even realize until very recently, is that through doing NaNoWriMo, i gained the courage to take on big, intimidating challenges and keep going even if i think success is unlikely; even when i’m afraid of failure. my first time taking on NaNoWriMo, i did NOT think i would be able to finish 50,000 words, let alone do it in 30 days. i did not think that i would have anything that even resembled a story when i did so. i was scared that i would find out i was completely talentless and incapable and, most of all, i was afraid of finding this out publicly. (i am connected with my friends on the NaNoWriMo site, after all.) but i did it anyway. and even better, i won.
i wrote 50,000 words in 30 days and i actually had a story at the end. granted it’s no prize winner, but by God, it has a beginning, middle and end that actually makes sense.
and then, last month, during Camp NaNoWriMo, i did it again. and this time i didn’t write during work hours (giving me less time to work on it), and i finished it four days early. and then, having just bolstered my confidence with my success, i did something that still scares me whenever i think about it: i sent it to all my friends to read. and i did it with joy, excitement, and even a little bit of pride.
and that’s just my courage concerning writing. i’m now just as courageous with the rest of my life. what i didn’t know during Nano and Camp Nano, was that every day that i sat down to write, i was diving head first toward a goal that i had no idea if i was capable of achieving. and now, diving into the unknown, striving toward uncertain success, is still scary as hell, but it doesn’t stop me anymore. NaNoWriMo taught me courage. And that has changed the way i live my life.
so if you could go click the vote button so that NaNoWriMo can get a grant that would fund their programs for years to come, i would really appreciate it.