My Halo

NaNo-2015-Participant-Badge-Large-SquareI earned my halo today. I’m an angel! Okay, not really. I donated to NaNoWriMo earlier this evening and now I have my halo on my avatar. Cool, huh? I think so. Though it’s free to participate, NaNo depends on writers, like you and me, to help keep them going. I’m sure there are a few big time sponsors, but when you think about what we can do en masse, just by donating a few dollars, why wouldn’t you donate?

Of course, I didn’t donate my first few years. Last year may have been the first year I donated, and it wasn’t a heck of a lot either. But again, when you think about the sheer size of NaNo, and the number of us that do, we help fund this very awesome organization!

In case you don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal for participants is to write fifty-thousand words in one month. It was a bit daunting that first year, but I managed it, and I have every year since. It’s not easy. It takes a certain dedication to getting words down and ignoring that inner editor that begs to obsess over every small detail. It’s only about getting the story down. Editing comes later.

I had always wanted to write a book. I wanted to tell a story, and there were several false starts over several years. The result was always the same. I gave up. It was too hard. I didn’t know how to plan or to outline so I would write a few paragraphs and decided I wasn’t cut out for it.

That changed in 2011. I saw a funny word when I logged onto my computer at work that November 1st morning. On the Trending Now section of Yahoo, I caught sight of Nanowrimo. Curious as to what it could possibly be, I looked it up and I discovered their website. I immediately signed up, though I had no idea what I would write about, and then I got to work.

It took me a week before I figured out what to do and how to write. Slowly the story took shape and I progressed slowly but with a purpose of hitting that 50K mark. By the end of the month, I hit 52,395 words. I was hooked, and I’ve been writing ever since.

That first year, NaNo helped me get through a hard period in my life. It kept me sane and I found that I could write. It’s never easy but the end is well worth the effort. I keep promising that I’m going to publish one of my works, but I’ve yet to get there, but I will.

So I feel a certain gratitude toward the organization and the fevered energy they help inspire. I’ve got a new story in mind, and though I know there’s no guarantee that I’ll cross the goal line for the fifth time, it’s very much what I intend to do. The pace is frantic, but there’s a joy in knowing you’re joining countless others in the mad endeavor.

I urge you to consider joining in if you’ve ever wanted to write a book. The best thing that’s come out of it is that I’ve met a lot of interesting people over the years, people I know I never would have met otherwise. I a blast to participate, and in the end you will have at least the beginning of a first draft of the book you’ve dreamed about writing.

The fun begins at midnight on November 1st and ends on the 30th at 11:59 p.m. Check out the NaNoWriMo website for more details.