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  • Beth Burke

Camp NaNoWriMo

Welcome to April and the start of Camp NaNoWriMo and another month of writing for a goal of 50K words!

I thought I this week would talk a little about when I took on the challenge of 50,000 words in November and National Novel Writing Month challenge. I have to be honest and say that when I first saw this challenge I thought there was no way I would ever be able to write that much in a short amount of time. At first the mountain of 50,000 words seems like a lot and it doesn't seem like it is possible especially within a time limit. You think about month and it seems like a long time until you try to look at a goal like this and suddenly 4 weeks doesn't seem like that long at all.

Then I thought back to all of the papers I wrote in college and grad school and how they always seemed so long and like I would never be able to write that much, but I always got my work done on time. It was always a matter of getting started. They always say that the first step in any journey is the hardest one to take. I would never know if I could do it if I didn't at least try. So I took the leap and started with an idea and the first chapter. When you really break it down all you need to do is 1600 words a day and you came make it to 50K in 30 days.

I am not going to say that it was an easy challenge to complete and that I was just able to do it, because that is just not the case. There were days I didn't want to write or that I had a hard time focusing on what I was doing. The biggest thing for me was just not giving up. Each day I kept track of how many words I was able to write and I kept posting my progress on my profile and watched as the total number of words just kept growing. There were days that I only wrote 200 words and other days I would really get focused and write several 1000 words.

The real point of the challenge is to show that one step at a time or in this case one word at a time you can reach any goal if you just keep going. The only time you truly fail is when you fail to try. As long as you keep trying and keep moving forward then you don't fail, you just haven't succeeded yet.

When I updated one day and saw the total number of words flip over to 50,000 I was ecstatic with myself! I had actually done it and I worked to complete the rest of the novel and finished it with a total of 60K words! I felt a real sense of accomplishment for actually finishing a whole novel. Now it is April and with the start of Camp NaNoWriMo challenge is another month and another 50,000 word goal. I currently have 2 novels I am actively working on and 2 others that I have started. With this challenge there is a chance I could get the first draft of at least one of these done, maybe even get a jump on another one. My main goal is to just not give up on myself or my stories.

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