I would like begin by thanking the academy, those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, the other over 300,000 competitors. Without you I couldn’t have done it. Also, my mother. And my son, who asked every night, “How many words? Better get writing. By the way, can I watch youtube on your phone?” Friends who encouraged me. And the plumber who never came. Ah, without you, I never would have learned how to solder copper pipes.
I finished. Last night, I thrust my 50,000 word novel at the NaNoBeast and he was slain.
But being a writer, I must now write about my writing experience. This is my third time participating in NaNoWriMo and second time completing. No, there is no guarantee of publication or trophy or million dollar prize, although I think they should work the million dollars in somehow. It’s enough just finishing, but I’ve come up with a few prizes for all the participants.
Power of Perseverance: “It always seems impossible until it is done.” I’ve always like Nelson Mandela. After two weeks of intense procrastination (trust me, it was the hardest attempt I ever made at procrastinating), I faced down the last five days with 20,000 words to finish. Four when I realized that I would have to submit my work a day early because my only current internet access is at the library and Jaz and I had a shared-flash-drive-scheduling problem. Early in the competition, our notebook cord fizzled out. We rushed to replace it under warranty, only to have the wrong one sent to our door. (We are still waiting.) Left with only a laptop that no longer connects to the internet, I sat down to write the last 1,000 words. A low battery warning flashed on the bottom of my screen. When I plugged it into the wall, get this… the laptop cord refused to connect and charge. I persevered and through it found…
Belief! For anyone who participates in NaNoWriMo, belief is an absolute. You start with a small taste of it. I don’t know. I think I could do that. You’re belief starts to wane in week two, traditionally. If you’re me, that waning continues through week three until five days before the end of the month. But as the NaNoBeast stalks closer, there comes a time when you believe or you die. I chose belief. Everyone who finished chose belief. Anyone who didn’t, there’s still plenty of belief for next year. That belief is intended to carry you through re-writes and edits. And so, in this process of killing ourselves for a month, we come to believe in ourselves. One of my dearest friends told me this summer, as I dwindled doubt, “Amber, I have never known you not to accomplish what you put your mind up to. Why would this time be any different?” Thank you, Brittany. As Paulo Coehlo said, “You are what you believe yourself to be.” And I, ladies and gentleman, believe I am a dragon slayer.
High Hopes~ I don’t know about anyone else, but my novel gave me chills. Especially the last 5,000 words that I wrote in a single sitting. Before NaNo, I wanted to write. I wanted to publish and see my name in print. It was a nice dream and I wished for it so. Now, as I read over the nearly finished novel that has been brewing in my head for two years, I have hope. Hope isn’t wishing. It’s more active. Hope is about believing. Thus, we’ve created a circle. Hope and belief go hand in hand and can only be achieved with perseverance. All good things work in a cirlce, I believe.
In the end? Excellence! A friend posted this on my facebook wall and I dream of painting these words on my wall.
Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible.
We attained excellence.
So thank you, academy. Thank you to my characters: Itsy, Nans, Mom, and Little Girl for playing so well. As well as my friends: DeVan Burton, Jamie Raintree, Tonia Marie Houston, Val Resel, and everyone else who cheered me on when I faced the beast.