I've said it before, I love to reinvent myself in any way I can. I find it refreshing and invigorating. These changes have been sometimes significant and sometimes minor; the point has always been to pursue something new.
Year after year, I've seen -with a certain degree of envy, I must confess- as family members and close friends have set personal goals and worked hard to achieve them; mostly sports-related goals. I'm definitely not the type of person how will take on a super demanding physical challenge because I know perfectly well that I would be deceiving myself. It's not that I wouldn't be able to do it, it's just that I don't enjoy physical challenges. And one thing is evident, if my mind is not in it, my body will never be.
So, I needed to find a goal that was challenging for me yet with a glimmer of hope that I could accomplish it. Not finding a meaningful challenge to pursue had been a cause of mild frustration for some time. I've had my share of exciting professional goals -this blog is one example; I've had good personal ones too. Still, none had required the level of dedicated planning, research, training, and execution that I was looking for. However, this year is the year; this year, I found it, and I'm rejoicing!
This year I finally found what I've been looking for. A challenge that's going to be so difficult that I'm not one bit sure that I can accomplish it. None of my friends have heard about this challenge -maybe one of the reasons it's so appealing to me. Yet, it has captured my imagination, and my thought process almost entirely. I have decided that I will participate in this year's National Novel Writing Month Challenge, or NaNoWriMo for short.
What is NaNoWriMo, you ask? It's a challenge where writers of all levels get to write a 50,000-word novel from November 1 to November 30. Let's put that in context: 50,000 words in 30 days is an average of about 1,667 words per day every single day in a 30-day month. Also, 50,000 words could become a 150-page book. Considering that I'm only a novice, for-fun-only writer who's never written anything longer than 800 words, this is a huge deal.
In reality, this represents a double challenge. First, I have to be able to come up with enough story ideas to write a 50,000-word novel (gulp!) and also to find the time to write around 1700 words every single day for 30 days. Yet, a commitment is a commitment, even if nobody is watching. The decision has been made, signed, and sealed. There's no going back now. They don't award prizes for finishing the challenge. Yet, I'm looking forward to that feeling of accomplishment that makes every effort worthwhile. As long as I write a minimum of 50,000 in those 30 days, I'm considered a winner.
The first "big" physical challenge I took on was running a 5K race (did I tell you that I don't like running at all? Yes, I know, I'm that weird person who doesn't enjoy running.) I decided to run it because I was looking forward to that wonderful feeling of accomplishment I was supposed to feel as I victoriously crossed the finish line -at least according to my runner friends- but as I crossed that finish line -and I could swear it kept moving backward every step I took- I was so physically exhausted and bored that I didn't feel anything except for a strong desire to get out of there and into my shower and clean clothes. In five 5K races that I've run, only in the last one, three years ago, I enjoyed crossing the finish line -maybe because I had already decided that it was my last one. Well, that's my story with physical challenges, not really into them, as you can see.
Now back to my current challenge. I have to start by learning the basics: how to develop well-rounded characters, compelling story plots, conflict, and conflict resolution, uff! There is so much to learn before November, it's super exciting! Making the time to do
all this without losing sight of my other responsibilities is going to be challenging too. I'm the type of person who tends to focus her attention on one thing, and quasi forget about everything. This time, I don't have such luxury, though; I have a growing business to run!
To achieve our lofty goals, we need to set forms of accountability to help us stay on track -some more than others. Writing about this challenge here is my first step toward creating accountability. By revealing my decision here, I'm hoping one of you will check back with me and make sure I'm making progress. I certainly hope not to disappoint you... or me.
What big goals have you set for 2020? What about past goals? How did that go? Have you ever participated in the NaNoWriMo Challenge? I want to read your comments! Please like this post and share it!