"It's not your facial appearance that matters. It's your souls beauty."
This is the last line I wrote this morning as I tried to reach my NanoWrimo goal for the day. NanoWrimo, boy, there's something I never thought I would be doing. I signed up for it years ago, thinking this seems cool but then never took it past the "Oh, this is cool" statement. I signed up and then never thought of it again. It's a typical bad habit of mine that I've come to recognize and am working to overcome. I am (was) a dutiful signer-upper, who once past the signing up part never batted an eye to go back and dig some more. Trust me, Nano was not my only victim. There have been hundreds.
This year, however, after going to therapy and having this urge to do better with my life and quit half assing everything, I started narrowing down my sites. Then came NanoWrimo time. Everyone was asking, "Are you doing Nano?" My new instinct was to say no. I'm not doing Nano. My site list of commitments is full. Then came the encouragement, the longing to finish Murder Is A Debate, the feel of excitement. I wanted to do Nano. I wanted to hang with the crowd and encourage one another as we met our goals. There was no question after the fire hit, I was doing Nano this year.
Now, I'm hanging with the cool kids and getting words down faster than I was before. I'm finishing Murder Is A Debate and planning out a short novel. Will I get them done? Who knows, but I can promise you I'm further along with the goal than I was a week ago.
The thing is, I'm not sure I would have been ready before now. "Trust the timing of your life." I believe this. Wholeheartedly. I've struggled and pushed until I was sick because I was trying to keep up with so much. I wanted to stay up to date and publish another novel and another. I was doing unhealthy things to stay awake to read one more article on this or one more book on that. It was terrible.
Now, after taking a year off and coming back with a new release (WHISPERS IN THE LAKE) and actually ENJOYING NanoWrimo and participating in it while still able to run my freelance business and spend time with my family, well, I don't think it would have been possible a year ago, two years ago, three years ago.
Is Nano important for every author?
No. It's a choice and something each writer must decide if it's right for them at the time. For me, it hasn't been right. Not until now. Now, I wanted the commitment, the encouragement, and needed the accomplishment. Some writers may not feel this way and that's completely okay. Nano is not a badge someone wears that states "I'm a real writer." It's a community that comes together to encourage one another to finish that project you've been working on forever. Even if you don't finish the count of 50,000, as is the goal on the website, you still finished more than you did before. You are still a writer.
So, whether you choose to Nano or not, know that all things come in your timing. All decisions you make are made for your current life. There's no pushing what can't be until you are ready and acknowledge what is right for you now versus what the world is telling you.