I Did It! I FINISHED My WriMo!
Done. Finished. 50,000 words in the bank.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2013 officially wraps up today and I have formally validated my novel in all of its 50,000-word glory.
*Insert obnoxious happy dance here*
Please excuse my shameless bragging, but I just can’t help it. I wrote a novel. I am a novelist. Just writing the words brings a giddy smile to my face. In fact, I am only about two levels of happy away from unashamedly shouting my victory at random strangers on the street. My friends, professors, parents and colleagues have showered even more congratulations on me than I deserve, and I can proudly say that I did it. Thirty days, and 50,000 words. I did it.
So now what?
December is here. With NaNoWriMo over, my daily schedule will no longer include 2-3 hours of solitary writing. My roommates will rejoice in my company as I remove the headphones from my ears, unlock my bedroom door, and reemerge, squinting, from my cave of isolation into the bright and sunny world of socialization once again. My routine will slowly get back to pre-NaNo normal and before long, even the joy I get in responding to “So, what did you do this semester?” with a casual “Oh, I wrote a novel, NBD” will wear off.
In just over one week, I’ll be home for the holidays, with good food, family, and my dog. I’ll have time for excessive amounts of sleep and pleasure reading, rather than just assigned reading for class. I’ll have time for television again. I’ll have time to have a Secret Santa party with my friends. I’ll be able to put NaNoWriMo behind me and forget all about the stress and frustration of that comes with writing a novel.
Wait a minute.
That doesn’t sound as attractive as I thought it would. Looking into the gaping void of December, and on—in which I have an abundance of free time and little to no writing—doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as it did two weeks ago when I was tapping away at my keyboard at 3 a.m., honestly contemplating whether or not I’d lost my mind with this whole “write a novel” thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready to throw myself into relaxation with an enthusiasm only really appropriate for a tween girl at a Justin Bieber concert. But maybe—after taking the weekend off to recuperate, of course—maybe, just maybe, I’ll get home from work on Monday, sit back down at my computer, and keep writing. Because as I said in my last post, there’s nothing magical about the month of November that prevents someone from writing any other month of the year.
Except there is something magical about November. I became a writer this month, because I wrote this month. That’s not to say that every writer has to write this way—fast-paced, every day, with “literary abandon.” But without NaNoWriMo, without going through that process, I wouldn’t have discovered this strange unknown passion I have for writing. I wouldn’t have realized that I enjoy crafting a story in my mind and putting it on paper, even if only for my own satisfaction. I would have continued charging through life without that simple piece of knowledge about myself—I like to write.
I won’t bore you with the implications this has for my life, but what I’m trying to say is that NaNoWriMo changed the way I think of myself. A well-informed leap of faith redefined my life for the better, and it could redefine your company in the same way. Don’t let your business practices grow stagnant. Adjust, innovate, and take educated risks. The world of publishing is transitioning, transforming; allow your company to transform with it.
Kara Robart is the Publishing Business Group's fall intern.
Related story: On Your Mark, Get Set, NaNoWriMo!