But here's the cool part: I have a "book" completed. Hurrah! Not that I'll ever let it grace the eyes of an innocent and unassuming reader. Maybe not even myself, either. Do you know how much groaning and eye-rolling that would require?
Whatever I choose to do (probably leave it on my PC for a long time), here are five things I learned while writing (even 50k words in less than a month) and why it can be good for you too.
- You are superwoman (man): Really, writing is tough. We have to come up with something worthy to write about and actually make it sound good. The awesome thing about NaNoWriMo is that my work can read horribly, be so grammatically incorrect and as interesting as a piece of toast, and we are called winners! It's great to feel like superwoman (even if it only lasts a few seconds.)
- You learn how to be creative: Making your story come alive is a great way to fuel creativity, especially if you can't afford anything. How? Well, things that you can't do, because lack of funds make it unallowable, is allowable in writing. We live vicariously through our characters, go to places we never visit in real life, and overcome obstacles (that the characters overcome) that we would never have to. That's creative! And hey, maybe applicable to your life one day.
- You learn how to be disciplined: This is huge, and a reason why something like only 10% of the NaNoWriMo writers actually complete their novel. It takes an odd sort of dedication to finish something that fast. But this discipline is like using a muscle; once you repeat it enough, it becomes something habitual and useable! I'm learning how to meet deadlines (even if semi-fictitious) learning how to do something I don't want to do (just like exercise) and stretching myself to be a better writer by using these brain "muscles."
- You learn that writing is freeing: This is true, you know. Again, like reason number 2, we get to be creative with our art. Writing is almost like being able to live out things we want to say, or do or be, but we don't have to really do it. My back hurt the day after I finished writing my book. Hadn't hurt all month. Do I think this had to do with not being able to free my thoughts? I think so. Free your thoughts, free youself.
- You learn to drink lots of coffee without noticing: Okay, so this isn't necessarily a good thing. But I love coffee, so it isn't bad either. Can't tell you how many hundreds of cups of the black stuff I drank and how many times I wondered where it disappeared to. Many writers attest to the disappearance of the drink to some time/space continuum; one they find themselves lost in while immersed in their writing. I fully agree with that theory.