This blog post is a bit late for announcing December’s 30-day Challenge. It’s for a good reason, though. Before I discuss this month’s challenge, let me tell you about November’s challenge.
November was National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. For those who are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it is an international event where writers challenge themselves to write a full novel in thirty days. To be considered a “winner” you have to write 50,000 words of your novel within those thirty days and then verify the word count on the NaNoWriMo website. That comes out to 1,667 words every day at a minimum to finish on time.
I am happy to say that I am a WINNER of NaNoWriMo and I finished three days early!!
I can confidently say that this challenge, so far, was the most exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was always pretty spent at the end of writing sessions each day, not wanting to do any work or even talk to people.
I did not write a consistent 1,667 words every day. Most of the days were at least 1,667 words. There were a few days when I didn’t even open my laptop for the whole day. After the low word count days, I would attempt to write extra to catch up. There were a few days with well over 2,000 words. And the last two days of the whole challenge were both over 4,000 words just because I was ready to be done and pushed to finish a few days early.
I went into this challenge as what NaNoWriMo calls a Pantster. That means I was flying off the seat of my pants and started the month with nothing. When I sat down to write on November 1, I had no outline, no characters, no setting and no plot. I barely had a starting line.
It was scary looking at that blank page not having an inkling of how I was going to pull 50,000 words out of nothing.
Somehow I did pull 50,000 words out of nothing. All it took was letting go of perfectionism and allowing my creativity to take center stage. Instead of writing my main character, it was like allowing my main character to write herself. I didn’t know from day to day what was going to happen next Sometimes I would have an idea of where I was going or where I wanted to go but there were often side trips that were hard to control. My main character had a mind of her own and did what she wanted.
I am still in a bit of shock that I wrote a novel in November.
I have always wanted to write a book. When faced with the question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” I always answer with “Write a book.” And I wrote a book!!!
Finishing this book was quite healing for me. A common theme I struggle with is not feeling good enough or successful enough or even capable of doing big things. It didn’t help that I had to bail out of running the marathon on November 2. Despite my hard work and precautions, my hip did not hold up well to training at all. I got up to running a half marathon (my third) and my hip started to deteriorate. It would hurt even on simple 3 mile runs. So, I knew getting up to 26.2 miles was pretty much out of the question. While I couldn’t run the marathon I still fulfilled a lifelong dream and that is pretty darn bad ass.
What’s next with my book?
The first thing I did was go to our local Office Depot and got it printed and spiral bound. I want a print copy for editing.
I’m going to let the first draft marinate or sit for a a couple weeks, maybe even a month. I won’t look at it during that time.
Come January, I will start the editing and revising process. It goes without saying that what I wrote in November is not even close to being ready for publication. You could call it Draft 0. There is a ton of work to be done and I am pretty confident my final book will be well over 50,000 words. I even have 3 pages of notes in the back of my printed draft for character ideas, plot points, etc. that need to be added.
Once I am somewhat okay with the editing and revising, I will send drafts off to friends and family to read and edit and offer suggestions. I don’t know how long this process will take.
I will repeat the editing and revising process for as long as I need to. And then….
I will start figuring out the publication process. Do I go the self-publishing route or traditional route? Do I seek out an agent? I don’t know and I am not worrying about that right now.
I once heard that the typical novel takes two years to go from writing to publication. I am in this for the long haul. I just finished month one of twenty-four.
With all that said, I need a break. I need something compeltely different than writing a novel to occupy my brain.It is Month 5 of A Year of 30-Day Challenges and in December I am going to learn a new craft. What would you like to learn? Join me! Click To Tweet
December’s 30-Day Challenge is Learn a New Craft.
Learning a new craft seems more cozy to me and perfect for the shorter nights of December and the Christmas season.
The craft I chose to start learning is knitting.
I have been a crocheter for many years, picking up projects here and there and thoroughly enjoying the process. But, I’ve never really learned how to knit. I’ve always said I’d love to learn how to knit but never really took the leap to do so.
Here is my opportunity to learn!!
Turns out I already had some knitting needles from times when I said I would learn but never did and I had a few skeins of yarn from past crochet projects. so, this challenge requires no purchases whatsoever.
I am using tutorials on Youtube to teach me the basics. I particularly enjoy this channel. This fellow breaks down the process so well and he is easy to follow along with.
My plan is to practice knitting for at least ten minutes a day. I have no doubt that most days will be more than that.
I have a basket by the couch where I usually sit. I keep books and notebooks in there and it is the perfect home for my knitting supplies making it easy to pick it up whenever I sit down.
I have no grand plans for what the end result for the month will be. Right now I have one piece that is just a mish mash of stitches as I am learning them. Once I feel more confident in the most basic stitches, I will consider a formal project.
This month is all about rest all the while learning something new. I already enjoy the nightly ritual of playing with my yarn and needles. It doesn’t matter if I do ten rows or just two. And with the busy of the Christmas season, I believe this is the perfect challenge for me to help me rest and come back to myself.
What crafts do you enjoy?? Is there a craft you want to learn but have never taken the opportunity to learn? Why not start learning now? It only takes a few minutes a day to learn something new.