The most important thing a writer takes with them into the NaNoWriMo challenge, is the belief in themselves as a writer.
Owning that belief in ourselves as writers is so incredibly empowering and important. It’s important because many of us for a very (sometimes very, VERY) long time will be writing without knowing when or if our writing is going to be published. But that is not where our value or the value of our identity as a writer lives. We are writers no matter how far that writing makes its way out into the world because getting it onto the paper is what matters. A writer becomes a writer as soon as that story has made its way out of us and onto the page.
Setting out to complete 50,000 words in thirty days, at about 1,667 words a day, is not an easy task. It takes a certain amount of forward planning, choosing to put the writing first (and some days that is just not as uncomplicated as it sounds), and sacrifices in time on other things or with people to get the draft done. Each one of those choices are driven by the belief in what the writer is doing and their writing. It’s a choice to believe that the writing and the writer is worth investing in because they are. Participating in this challenge, even if a writer chooses to do so without contacting other people about it or participating in any virtual writing groups during it, is a guarantee that you are not walking the path alone. There will be thousands of other writers journeying on this path together and that is a very comforting thought.
Last week I didn’t do any other prep work for the NaNoWriMo challenge. There were several times I tried to do some writing or work on the three act structure, but each time I tried I felt my mind disengage. I didn’t fight it because I don’t want anything about this challenge to be forced. I know, like every single thing in 2020, that this year will be different and this year will present its own unique set of challenges and I’m not going to make it more difficult by fighting the process. Something within me is telling me not to push too hard right now, so I’m going to listen. I know what my story will be about and ultimately that is all I need to write it. I’m going to lean into that. This week I’m planning to work on the revision of MS:SB. It’s been over a month since I did any revisions in there and I need to get back to it. If I feel the pull to do more prep for NaNoWriMo, I will, but this week is going to be about leaning into what my writer’s intuiting calls me to.
Believe in yourself as a writer. Believe that your writing is important. Most importantly, know that you are more than enough.