I really like books. I have been drawn to them since I was a child. They were my refuge and my teachers. My family went to the library once a week. I would fill the space between my hands and my chin every time and leave the library teetering.
Having read so much it was not long before I decided that the coolest thing in the world would be to publish a book and see my name on a library shelf. I like to write, and I tried on and off for years to begin, finish, edit, and complete a story. I wrote a third of a children’s story, a tenth of a young adult adventure, and one chapter of a medieval fantasy romance. I never finished anything.
When I first heard about NaNoWriMo my first thought was that it was an awesome idea. This was quickly by the thought that anyone who tries to write 50,000 words in one month is crazy, my kind of crazy. I tried it. I wrote 10,000 words in my first NaNoWriMo. I had never written so much in my life, but I still hadn’t finished.
That first NaNoWriMo was a good experience. I learned a few things. You see, I realized that I just don’t write fast enough to reach the 50,000 word goal in one month. So, I tried something different. I decided to use NaNoWriMo to get me into the habit of writing. I decided to throw away the word goal and just focus on finishing a short story. So I wrote every day for 30 minutes each day. I focused on just finishing. I did not win NaNoWriMo that year but I finally finished my first story.
I never won a NaNoWriMo and, let’s face it, I probably never will. NaNoWriMo helped me get over a huge obstacle I had long thought impossible. If you like to write, if you have a story, give it a try. It isn’t easy, and I am not saying it will help you the way it helped me. We are all afraid to try something new and maybe this will help you overcome whatever is stopping you.
Good Luck and Good Writing.
~Brad Dobos, HPL's 2014 NaNoWriMo Coordinator