Monday, December 01, 2008

Stepping Stones

12:01 a.m. December 1st signalled the end of another NaNoWriMo. To those unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. For the month of November, writers undertake the monumental task of writing a novel in a month. Whoever said there's a fine line between genius and insanity must have had all the people who decided to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days in mind!

Call me an underachiever, but I knew when signing up that I wouldn't obtain that lofty 50,000 word goal. I just wanted to break the previous year's showing: 5,000 words. I know. That sounds so dismal! But, so true. 5,001 was my goal for the month of November. Now, if you knew my history, you'd understand why this is huge for me. This year, I experienced a bad break-up with Procrastination. We still cohabit from time to time, but I'm weaning myself off. I also had a parting of the ways with Fear, Low Self-Esteem and Doubt. Oh, we continue to mix it up every now and again, but those times are becoming fewer and farther between. And I emerge less bloody and bruised with each encounter.

I've found a new relationship--or relationships. I guess you can call me poly-amorous. I'm in love with Discipline, Faith, and most importantly, Myself. We're all taking it slow--not having known one another long--but, we're growing and learning one another. Because of my past entanglements and my present relationships, I recognize the importance of setting realistic limits and goals for myself. It's not self-defeating. It's simply saying, okay, I'm not up to this level just yet. But, I can master the place I'm at now. No child goes from crawling to running full throttle. In between is the shuffling while holding on to a table. And then the hesitant walk right before the confident stride. And then--only then--do they run. Right now I'm in between the hesitant and confident walk. And, like a child, I'm grinning over each milestone. And looking forward to running.

Reaching the goal, no matter how modest, is an achievement and a stepping stone. Because it tells me I'm evolving. I'm learning. I'm faithful. I attained 5,001 this year, so I have no doubt that next year I can conquer 10,001 .

My goal for the 2008 NaNoWriMo was 5,001 words.

But...I wrote 8,108.


Carla Swafford said...

Congratulations, Naima! I bet it felt great when you realized you'd almost doubled your goal.

Like you, I don't write fast. So I understand what a great achievement it is.

Naima said...

It felt wonderful!! I was telling my father about it this morning and he said so you reached 8,000. I was like, No, Daddy...8,108! LOL!! I used to beat myself up over not churning the words out, but I'm learning to accept that it's just the kind of writer I am. And, I'm becoming okay with it. Whew! Did I just write another blog?! LOL!

Christy Reece said...

Naima, congratulations. Meeting a goal is outstanding...exceeding that goal is phenomenal! So happy for you!

Naima said...

Thank you, Christy!! I still haven't stopped doing my Snoopy dance! Look out 2009!!

SaturnMoonie said...

Congrats Naima! I'm very proud, I'm happy w/ my NaNo total as well. 24,700!!! It was my first year doing NaNo and it was the first time attempting to write something so long! :D I feel good that I've made it that far, and now I feel confidant that I will finish the darn thing, which is my current goal for this month.

I say it doesn't matter how many words you wrote, but that you tried your best and didn't give up. And along the way you're also improving which is twice as awesome.


Naima said...

24,700?? Wow!! I should hit that mark about 2011! LOL! Congratulations! And I'm rooting for you to finish the whole thing this month! That's awesome!! I'm doing my Snoopy dance for you, too!!