Friday, November 30, 2012

NaNoWriMo victories and eating elephants.

It is finished. Not nearly as epic as when it was spoken biblically, but still, there is something very satisfying about hitting the 50,000 word mark on November 30th. Now technically, I hit it on the 28th, but still...another NaNoWriMo has come and gone and I have a completed project that just needs to sit for a while before I go through it and start cleaning u the rough spots.

The wonderful thing about this experience is more than the is the sense of accomplishment. I can only speak for myself (duh), but one of the things I hear all the time as a writer when talking to friends of friends (my actual friends know better, but I will get to that later), "I have a great idea for a book, I just need to write it." Often I nod politely, but sometimes, as can happen with the human animal. I am tired and cranky. It is those times that I say, "Is that right? Think it is just that easy? Put a few words on paper and you'll have a book, sell a million copies, and live the life of leisure and luxury?" I then tell them about cover artists, ISBNs, and last but NOT LEAST...editing. 

However, the bottom line is that before ANY of the other stuff can happen, you have to take the TIME to actually write the book. Writing is actually a time devouring job. It is done in isolation, and it separates you from those you love. Outside observers may think you are just sitting at a desk staring into space. They have no idea that you are trying to figure out the perfect way to describe a footprint or a kiss or a sunrise without using the same words that you used last time.

To complete any story, long or short, is special. If you have done it, whether it has seen print or not as of this date, is an achievement. It makes you special because not EVERYBODY has taken the time to do it.

So, today is a day to celebrate for thousands of WriMos. And if you have been thinking about writing something...stop waiting. The only way it will be done is for you to take the time. As my grandfather used to say, "What is the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time." So get out there and eat your elephant.