I consider NaNoWriMo the one, key turning point in my writing career. I know I’m not alone on that front, but it doesn’t make it any more meaningful to me. The first time I used the process, it was in total seclusion, and I followed the rules of the even to the “T”. I think it was July, and I sat down three days before and planned the whole thing out, from characters to plot to combat systems—everything.
I also scrapped most of that later, but that’s another story to be told…eventually…
The real importance of it was the fact that I finished writing a full 50,000 word manuscript. It was ugly, rough, and ugly…and ugly. But I finished it, and that’s what counts.
Now, entering my fifth or so NaNoWriMo event, I’m much more confident, and much better off as a writer. Stories have been published, others are just about ready to be sent out, and I’m taking in pay—and I’m not even twenty at the time of writing this, though I might be by the time you all read it. Without NaNo, I would be all of nowhere, except maybe stocking shelves at Wal-Mart. The real thing to take away from the event is the feelings—every feeling. The Excitement of the planning, and of writing those first ten-thousand words…followed by a toenail pulling session when you reach the mid-point (our dreaded WEEK TWO of NaNo). And finally the finish. Mostly, this all adds up into confidence. Confidence that you can write, that you can produce product quickly, and that it’s okay to write crap in that zero draft.
I’d like to think of this NaNo as a year of change: the Office of Letters and Light are trying to change the negative name attached to the number thirteen, our new members are again changing their minds and joining the ranks of insanity, and we’ve had a change of Leadership with Chris Baty stepping down. So why shouldn’t we all change along with it?
Voss foster writes speculative fiction, and begrudgingly admits to writing romance. When not stuck to his laptop, he enjoys singing, cooking, and photography. He can be found and contacted at http://vossfoster.blogspot.com