I felt really good about this.
A big reason was because I’d reached my goal of writing 50,000 words in a month.
Another reason was because I really didn’t feel like writing yesterday.
Yesterday was the Cat-Griz game here in Montana, which is the 116th time in the state’s history that the two main colleges played football.
I was at the game and I knew I’d have to come home later and get my 1,667 words in.
The main reason I felt compelled to write each day like that was because of this word count meter I kept on my homepage:
I will not allow a red square to appear, which signals no writing was done for that day.
I won’t even allow a yellow square, which signals that some writing was done for that day.
Nope, I go all green squares.
That gives me an even greater incentive to finish NaNo early each year, as doing the green squares each day is an even greater challenge.
But now it’s done.
I have the cool sidebar badge to show for it, my fourth now.
Besides that, I have the satisfaction of knowing another book is close to being done.
Here’s how I accomplished that:
Right from the get-go I did more than the required 1,667 words a day to win.
Then I kept that up, writing about 900 words a day more than I had to.
I wasn’t the only one doing this – people in Montana have written 1,992,208 words since NaNo started twenty days ago.
That’s pretty good.
Remember, I got started writing novels way back in 2011 when I was working a dead-end job that gave me no satisfaction.
I wrote 2,000 words a day and a lot of the time they were rubbish.
But I kept at it everyday for about a year and a half, then after 3 books and a big chunk of 3 more I got tired of doing that.
The books were just sitting on my computer.
Besides a few people in some critique groups, no one had seen them.
Then at the end of 2012 I heard about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and I gave it a try.
I sold 65 copies of the 6 novels I published that first month, January 2013. And that even though the books had no editing, terrible covers, and stories that were shoddy at best!
I think it was just friends and family buying them mostly. The next months by sales fell by 50% and then the next month they fell another 50%.
All the while, however, I was working on new stuff…nonfiction, mostly.
By November 2013 I’d put out 12 more books, though none of them were novels.
It was that month I decided to try National Write a Novel Month for the first time.
I did it and the result was the book Tarot Card Killer, the first novel I’d written in more than a year.
The book never sold that much (a better cover might help, maybe some more editing), but I’d challenged myself with a goal, met it, and then had something to show for it, something that actually earned money.
That’s a pretty good feeling.
I can’t help but think it’s one of the main reasons I continue to do NaNo each year.
I hope you’ll think about giving it a try next year, or even next month.
You don’t need to have a national effort underway to challenge yourself with a 50,000-word goal each month, or even a 10,000-word goal.
It really comes down to getting up in the morning and doing the work.
Find what interests you. Write about it. Do like I did when I started – set a daily goal, reach it, and don’t worry about what anyone will think because those books will most likely never be read.
That’s how I felt when I started in 2011, a time when I didn’t even know about Amazon but a time when I did know that no publisher would be interested in me.
It’s been about 6 years since that time and I’ve sold over 9,000 books in just the past 4 years.
So anything is possible.
I think NaNo shows us that.