Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Race to the Finish”

A Moment in My Life – Tuesday, November 24, 2020

“On your mark, get set, GO!” was how it began for writers all over the world on November 1, 2020. Over 300,000 writers came to participate together in the NaNoWriMo challenge. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as the holiday for writers. The funny thing about this holiday is that while holidays are considered a day off from work, for writers, their holiday means to work our butts off pounding on the keys to produce a novel in thirty days. The NaNoWriMo challenge is for the participants to write a minimum of 1,667 words a day to reach a total of 50,000 words by midnight on November 30 to be a winner.

  Writers are known for working all the time, so it doesn’t surprise me that our holiday would mean that we work harder than we have all year. Many of us writers may need that little extra push to get going. And what an excellent opportunity for writers who haven’t written a word to date but still want to try to draft a novel with this one last push before the year is over. No better way to do it than to be in the camaraderie of like-minded individuals vying for the winner’s certificate. The best thing about this competition is that we can all be winners once we reach the 50,000-word mark.

This year, to make it more festive, I decided to go all out with my NaNoWriMo swag while I participated in the challenge. The swag felt so official, like I was at the Olympic games or something. It was so exciting and fun to choose a different T-shirt each day to wear. I kept warm with my swag hoodie. There’s more. I drank coffee out of my NaNoWriMo coffee mug and water out of my NaNoWriMo water cup, too.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo four previous times. I completed three novels during these challenges. I have one unfinished novel that I started in last year’s challenge, which I will finish one day. I’ve always been a lone writer, but this year I rose to another challenge by joining other writers to write together. Each week, we met for a 30-minute writing sprint, which was exhilarating. I loved it. In my second sprint, I discovered that I could write 1,389 words in 30 minutes. Pretty cool. Had I not participated in the sprint, I wouldn’t have known how enjoyable this was. Had I not participated in my first NaNoWriMo, I may not have learned that I could complete a novel in thirty days. 

My personal goal was 2,000 words per day instead of a minimum of 1.667 words required to achieve the daily par. My more rigid goal allows me to take a day off each week without falling behind on the daily tally. However, this year, I didn’t take any days off from noveling, but I am exhausted, and I am so ready for some time off. So, without further ado, (drum roll), I am delighted to announce that as of today, I have completed this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge with a total of 50,023 words earning my winner certificate in the race to the finish.

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