Today’s guest post is from the amazing and super lovely J. D. Robinson.
J.D. is an urban fantasy author who is sweet, fun and has the most amazing skin I’ve ever seen. I mean, really!! But I digress…
Today she stopped by to talk about this special month of November.
Why is November so special? Words are in the air…
November is a special time of year for me. Fall is in full swing and the leaves have all turned, creating a beautiful scene anytime I step out of my house. The month is full of fried turkey, pumpkin pie, family arguing and my mad frantic dash to cook Thanksgiving dinner and reach my goal of fifty thousand words before December 1st hits.
National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short, is an exciting rush of creativity, elation and desperation as each participant writes a novel in one month’s time. As crazy and almost delusional as it sounds, it really can be done.
Each year that I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, I’ve gained something special and unforgettable, and I wanted to take the time today to share these things with you, because I’m thankful for each and every one of them.
Courage: In 2008, on the evening of November 1st, I stumbled across the NaNoWriMo site for the first time. As a very recent University graduate with little hope in the job market, the dream of possibly one day becoming an author was reawakened in me.
What I found this first year was the courage to pursue my dreams.
I started a new work right then and there, and never looked back.
Friendship: The second year, in 2009, I started NaNoWriMo a little more prepared. I had outlines and character sketches; I’d created a writing nook in my home where I could work, and I bought all the recommend noveling supplies (coffees, teas, chocolates and leftover Halloween candies.) But what I found that year was something very special to me. At write-ins around Raleigh, I met new lifelong friends and critique partners in fellow writers Sarra Cannon, Aurora Adams, and Alok Baikadi. Friendship and support of fellow people who are all striving towards the same goal is something you can find in many challenges across the globe, but I think us WriMos have something a little extra special.
Perspective: Now, while the previous year was awesome, 2010 holds a place very close to my heart. It was the year that I finished a first draft all the way through and ‘won’ NaNoWriMo for the first time It’s not only a huge boost to your self-confidence, but the joy of typing ‘The End’ on a story you’ve written from scratch, even if it’s just a first draft, really changes your perspective on writing. I started seeing the stories in my mind in a new light, and realized that no matter how much you plan in the beginning, once you sit down to write, all bets are off by the time you get to the ending. There’s a reason most writers go back and rewrite their first chapters after finishing a complete first draft.
Community: Last year after publishing my first book, NaNoWriMo 2011 gave me what I needed for most for that year. It was my first year as the regional volunteer, and I put everything I had into organizing events and putting together write-ins for the writers in my area. We’ve a truly amazing community that participates in NaNoWriMo, not only here in my area but worldwide. And they may not know it, but they helped provide me with a wonderful distraction from a recent family tragedy. While I didn’t pass further than the halfway point last year, I still consider it a November well spent finding out what really was important to me and my life.
This year has had its own ups and downs, but never once has the thought occurred to me that I shouldn’t attempt NaNoWriMo for the fifth time. So while I’m organizing events again, and struggling daily to make the word goal, I’m wondering what I’ll find special about this year. In any event, I know that come the New Year, I’ll be longing for November again.
Whatever happens in life, you just need to keep on writing.