Universe: Shae, you’ve just won NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo. What are you going to do next?
Me: I’m going to Disneyland!
Well, maybe. But I am definitely going to write drafts of my best PB ideas, continue submitting, and revise my novel after it marinates for a few months.
Did I mention that I just finished writing MY FIRST NOVEL in one month? And that I came up with 30 picture book ideas in one month? One month, as in 30 days. Commence the confetti-throwing and popper-popping!
The hardest part about writing is that you are your own motivator. It’s on you and your self-discipline to commit and get those words on paper. There’s no one watching over your shoulder to make sure you do it (unless you’re one of the lucky ones with an agent or editor). You have no one to blame but yourself if you don’t write. Excuses don’t work.
However, there are wonderful events like NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo that bring writers together in their angst and head-beating-against-the-computer moments. Whether you succeed or fail is still on you, but there’s a community that bands together to encourage everyone to accomplish their writing goals. And this was my first year partcipating in either event and feeling that encouragement from fellow writers.
With the encouragement of those communities, I finished—I wrote over 50,000 words of a novel (finishing it) and came up with 30 picture book ideas. Woot woot!
I finished, but dangnabbit it was hard! Starting was hard. Writing while on vacation and through Thanksgiving was hard. Figuring out when to begin the ending of my novel was hard. I was a grouchy grinch at times. Certain days, “plans” interferred with my writing:
Or I accidentally got, um, distracted:
Or I flat out hated what I wrote that day:
But most of the time, I surprised myself with what I came up with. Even if I didn’t write a wonderful idea, scene, or chapter, I celebrated that I had inched myself one day closer to winning:
I’ve been focused on picture book writing for about a year, but for a long time I’ve told people, “I want to write a novel someday.” Someday is the important word in that sentence. Someday, as in, I’m not sure when, or I’ll get around to it eventually, or I’m hoping to do it before I die. Someday is meaningless until it becomes now. And now, my first novel is drafted.
I feel like I can conquer anything.