NaNoWriMo is good for the soul

If NaNoWriMo has taught me one thing, it’s that I do have the discipline needed to write every day.  Whether I am in the ‘mood’ or in the ‘zone’ or not, if I sit down determined to bash out at least 2,000 words of my NaNovel, I find I write all that and more.  I have never written fewer and I have never written (because it would be ridiculous) exactly 2,000 words.  This discipline has kept my word count rising at a steady pace throughout the first week and a half so that I quickly exceeded the necessary word count for this stage in the challenge.

When the site was down for maintenance for longer than planned a couple of nights ago – at around 2-3 pm in the States but around 10-11 pm here in the UK – I was unable to update my word count to the halfway mark (25,000) by midnight.  As I like to update when I have written a certain number of words, and certainly I wanted to update at 25 thousand, I decided instead not to write any more on that particular project that night but to work on another novel I have been neglecting.  Once again, I found that all it took was sheer bloody determination and I managed to get the words down.

Writing is something I have always wanted to do.  Ever since I was about 6, I have been fascinated by the process of novel writing – yes, I was reading books when I was that young – and when I discovered that I could follow plots as they happened in my head (I can’t plan for toffee) and still maintain a reasonable level of comprehensibility, that was it.  I was determined I would publish.  Eventually.

So NaNoWriMo being what it is, with a word count target and a set, non-negotiable deadline, has been great for me.  I always wrote – I’d go fairly nuts if I didn’t – but I’ve reached this stage in the development of my craft without having a go at actually publishing.  The lovely people at CreateSpace (, one of the sponsors of the project, offer to produce a proof copy of a finished novel for all verified winners, that is, everyone who passes the 50k point and has it verified by the end of November.  This has been the spur – the kick up the bum – that I think I needed.  First of all, I have no intention of starting this without winning.  Second, I want that book!  Third, I think I will probably publish through CreateSpace once I’ve edited the novel and made it readable (if it isn’t already) and saleable.

The subject matter of my NaNovel – a kung fu adventure fairy tale for grown-ups and big kids – was easily found, if a surprise at the time.  I have never written anything like it but have been greatly aided in my task by having the most amazing kung fu instructor and a penchant for kung fu films.

Now – to finish.  I’ll see you when I come up for air at the end of the month.


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