I entered in the National Novel Writing Month two days before it began. Write a novel in 30 days? Sounds easy enough. I am an experienced writer, and I only need to pump out about 1700 words a day.
Oops. Note to anyone wishing to complete NaNoWriMo: be prepared.
I guess some people can start on November 1st with no clue what to write about or how to write it, and do an adequate job of it, a shitty 50k word draft ready 30 days later.
I can't. I sat down on Nov 1st and it took me three hours to write 500 words.
Oh mama, this is HARD.
But through the first couple days, I have gained some valuable insights into the writing process.
I've figured out what kind of novel I want to write, and I know how I want to write it. Because I know these two things, I also know that it'll take a lot longer than 30 days.
Thus, I am no longer participating in NaNoWriMo.
This isn't a cop-out, because the point isn't to write a novel in 30 days. The point is to write a damn novel. NaNoWriMo got me started. I have basically done nothing at this point, and yet I am lightyears ahead of where I would have been if I hadn't participated in the first few days of the contest.
I've considered writing fiction for a few years now, and NaNoWriMo was the necessary initial push I needed.
Now, the most important observation I could make about this is that this isn't an isolated incident. And this isn't rationalization. This is how all of my life works.
Technically I failed the contest, but the contest was never the point. I entered with the intention of finishing it, but it brought me somewhere else. Like most things do.
Things ALWAYS go according to plan, whether you agree with the way things go or not.
If you don't like how something turns out, it's you who is the problem, not reality. Reality isn't wrong. That's an impossibility.
So I didn't really fail, because everything goes according to plan.
Crap, I'm trying to express something really important here, and I'm not doing a particularly good job of it. Let me try again.
The exact right thing always happens at the exact right time. If you do not agree with this, you are in conflict with reality. This is how the universe works.
In zen they say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. By definition, it's also true that when the teacher appears, the student is ready.
NaNoWriMo showed up out of the blue in my inbox and I knew it was the right thing to do. A "teacher," if you will.
I act when it feels right, and I trust whatever happens is the right thing to happen.
Dropping out of the contest was not so much a decision as an observation of it being the right thing to do.
Life isn't linear and you don't have to operate by anyone else's rules. I see life as an extremely fluid thing I can bend to my will. But I can only do that by surrendering to reality.
That won't make sense to most of the people reading this, and that's fine. For a few, however, it will. I'm writing this to you.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a book to write.