It’s not special anymore.
November is National Novel Writing Month. Writers of various stripes attempt to write an entire novel in thirty measly days. It’s kind of a big deal. I have teacher friends who focus the entire month in their classrooms on getting their students writing. There are accountability groups online. Everyone was Kung Fu Fighting!
And also writing novels.
The first time I attempted NaNoWriMo was about a decade ago. It was… oh man. It was such a slog. Trying to get out enough words every day? No one can live at that speed! I was insanely exhausted at the end of the month. I made it, but I also didn’t write for a while after that. I OD’ed!
…and now I’ve written a novel every month for… calculating… seventeen months, if I’m counting correctly. That seems like more than it should be, but that’s what I count. I’ve never been wrong before, so clearly this must be correct.
No one tell my wife I said I’ve never been wrong before. She’d hit me.
Writing is a muscle. The more you write, the more you’re able to write. The last book I drafted, I averaged 2200 words an hour. And this is awesome. It means I can get a lot done in not a lot of time.
But it means November is just another month now. Well, it’s still special. We still celebrate Thanksgiving with family. We still overeat and play games. But when it comes to writing… it’s just another month.
It’s one of the weird things about writing more. Finishing another novel? It’s a monthly occurrence. Once upon a time, finishing a rough draft was cause for major celebration! Now it’s still celebration, but it’s more like celebrating Friday. You finished it! Yay! You do this often, though.
And you know what? I wouldn’t trade it. It means that I’m growing as an author.
Think about it. Do you celebrate every time you take a step? Once upon a time, there was valid celebration as you walked. If you’ve ever lost that ability due to injury or illness, and you were able to walk again, the first step is another cause for celebration! But eventually, walking is just something you do. It’s the same way with driving. The first time I drove, I was a nervous wreck. Now, at least most of the time, it’s just something I do.
Writing is just something I do, whether or not it’s NaNoWriMo. And that’s not a bad thing.
I should probably get started on December’s book, though…