What I learned from NaNoWriMo . . .

Now that I’ve recovered, it’s time to answer what you wanted to know. What did I get out of it, and what’s in it for you? Because what you’re really asking is, “Do I have the courage, and do I want to take that chance?” For those not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it’s a challenge to write a book (50,000 word goal) in a month.

It’s said that 80% of Americans want to write a book. That’s a huge percentage, so I’ll assume that some of you out there fall into that percentage. It’s for you that I’m answering this question that so many have asked me.

IF you think you have a book in you, yes it’s worth it. Whether you succeed or fail in the challenge has no actual bearing on whether you have what it takes to write a book, and it certainly has less to do with quality. No one is going to write a publisher-ready book in a month. But it is worth the effort. You’ll find out the value of your excuses. You’ll come face-to-face with the strength of your passion and desire. You’ll definitely find out the level of your family’s support! (Mine were absolute winners, thank you.)

More, you’ll find out that you can indeed, keep writing when you don’t feel like it, have writer’s block-head syndrome, or find that your pre-plotted scenes have been thwarted by your character’s dialogue, and how to negotiate with them over control of your book. In other words, you’ll be able to condense year’s worth of learning the writer’s craft into one month of intense effort. And that intensity will cause what you’ve learned to gel. You’ll never be the same.

And after you recover, catch up with your lost sleep, and get over the flu you caught from so little sleep, you’ll come away with a smarter, better you. Except for spelling. That will be worse.

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