Yesterday, after I crossed the finish line in the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, I felt so damn powerful. It was odd feeling, really.
I finished the challenge at approximately 8am on Saturday morning, a day and a half before the final deadline. After which I celebrated by going back to bed until noon and sleeping the sleep of the accomplished. After I got up I felt absolutely elated. Normally I’m not a dance around the house kind of girl, but there I was, singing at the top of my damn lungs doing what I approximated to be dancing. I have to admit, it felt good, really really good.
But, what had I accomplished, really? The novel isn’t actually finished. I would say I’m about 8-9/10ths the way done. It’s not particularly good. In fact, I think it’s fair to say it’s a big steaming pile of goose crap. I mean, if I’m this excited about compiling a bunch of poorly constructed words in a limited period of time, I don’t know what would actually happened if it ever got published. Yeah, I need to dial it down some.
I know, I know, this whole NaNo thing isn’t about coming up with something brilliant. It’s about putting your inner editor and critic on hold for a month and just writing like your fingers are on fire. Done and done. And as a result I have 8-9/10ths of a first draft of a novel. But, here’s the funny thing, I never really aspired to be a novelist. I guess I sort of fancied myself a bit of a writer as of late, but a novelist? Interesting what one can do on a dare.
And that’s what I’ve learned about myself. When dared or faced with a challenge most people, including myself, think is a tiny bit insane, I’m all in. Well, that is, if the challenge only lasts about a month. 110,000 long mantras in a month? Sure. Cut out all caffeine, sugar, gluten and dairy for three weeks? Done. But, if you were to say challenge me to exercise more, eat better and floss on a regular occasion? Not so much. Long term lifestyle changes are not really my thing. Could you perhaps rephrase that in the form of a 30 day seemingly impossible challenge, then maybe I’ll consider it.
The other thing I learned, I think Jaynova said best, is that basically the only thing that has been holding me back from accomplishing what I wish to accomplish is me. It’s not circumstances, it’s not time. When I put my mind to something, I can do it no matter how silly or challenging it is.
It’s a good lesson to remember