How I got started

As I sit here writing my first blog post, I can’t help but think how long I have wanted to do this. Not just blogging, but actually writing a book from start to finish. I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old. That being said, the last 23 years I have been pursuing it in some form or another.

I have written a few manuscripts that will probably never see the light of day, but they were great practice if nothing else. Some I may go back to, take parts from, rework them, and create something new.

My current work in progress (WIP) is a book I hope to become my first that goes to print. I began writing it on November 1, 2015. That is the starting date for NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month. It has been something I have wanted to participate in for many years, but could never fully commit the time.

Then, a couple of days before Halloween, I decided that this was going to be my year to participate. I own my own business and it was a slower than average fall, typically my busiest time, so I took that as a sign and ran with it. I went online and signed up, committing to writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’m usually a planner in every aspect of my life, but sitting there, on October 31st after a late night trick-or-treating with my kids, I had no outline for the novel I was to begin the next day. Part of it felt scary, like I was already defeated and thought there was no way this was ever going to happen. But the other part, the excitement for creating something new from absolutely nothing, took over and luckily won out in the end.

With a goal of 1667 words per day, I was determined to stay on track. I wrote every day for the first twenty days or so. Then, we went on a weekend trip with the kids, two of them got sick, and before you knew it, I was four days behind in my writing. Each day that passed I felt more and more like quitting, not thinking I would ever make up that much ground to be able to finish by the deadline.

On the next day, I refused to give up. I figured out how many words I needed to complete the 50,000 word requirement and divided that by the number of days remaining in the month. It only went up by 1,000 words or so per day which seemed way less intimidating once I saw it written out. “I got this,” I kept telling myself. Some days I would write during nap time, some days I wouldn’t write until almost nine o’clock at night.

After writing on the fly and being the pantser I never thought I could be, I finally finished. On November 29th, after writing nearly 4,000 words while my husband was watching football, I submitted my 50,000 words and became a NaNoWriMo Winner! I printed out my certificate and framed it, so proud of myself for finally completing something I had wanted for so many years.

Two days later, my business took off and was busier than any other holiday season I have had in the past, making my accomplishment even more rewarding. I was so thankful that I took those 29 days and worked as hard as I could, knowing and praying that my business would soon pick up. I am so thankful that it waited for me to complete my first draft of my novel. After that, it was nearly three months before I was able to pick my writing up where I left off and begin the editing of draft two. And that is where I will pick up next time.

 

Shannon