Originally published on 29 November 2006 as “Skidding into the finish line: National Novel Writing Month”.
I didn’t think I would finish. After all, writing a novel in one month sounds incredibly hard, when I’ve been trying to write a novel most of my adult life. But the premise behind National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org) is that one will never finish a novel without a deadline.
I think they’re right. I never would have finished, much less placed my life on hold, for the last week, to catch up to the word count. You see, earlier in the month, I procrastinated. And last weekend it was looking dubious as to whether or not I could finish. I’m not sure I even would have started without the contest to spur me on.
It’s been rough. My life has been placed on hold for the last week. I have not journaled, kept up with my blogging, done more than the bare minimum to maintain the house and family, gotten adequate amounts of sleep or read anything outside of my manuscript.
On the other hand, I wrote a 50,000+ word novel in 29 days.
I finished. With over 24 hours to spare. And I’m immensely proud of my achievement! Go Me!
P.S. I promise I’ll start blogging again. Next week, after a decent rest.
Update December 2007
Having completed the contest for a second time, I really think that an unrealistic deadline is a good motivator for me. Realistic deadlines cause me to either procrastinate or take on more work. No deadlines can mean no movement on a project. But the unrealistic deadline forces me to stretch and go for it.
Not that I’d want all of them to be unrealistic, but it did get me up and going!