The time I heard about NaNoWriMo was over five years ago when I was in high school. I was just begun writing as a past time and my best friend at the time, who was more aware of what goes on online than I do, told me about the competition. I thought it was pretty cool, but I had missed the deadline. I never really thought about it after that.
Then years later, I decide I want to write seriously. I believe it was after my mother passed away and my whole life had turned upside down. I remember the exact moment when I had decided this was what I had to do to make a living. I was in bed, depressed and lost, and pretty much asked in my head what I should be doing, what can I do to fix the mess that was my life. Before that, I had received a catalog from Writer's Digest Books and joined their club where I could get like five free books if I buy one. During that time, I had picked several books for publishing, one of them being "First Draft in 30 Days" by Karen Weisner. However, after flipping through the pages for a bit, I barely touched them. Now months later, I'm in my bed, the house in a disarray and pretty much my world a completely mess, as I'm thinking of what to do, I absentminedly pick up that book that was just lying there beside me (my bed works as a bookshelf apparently) and I look at it again. It was that moment that I realized I was getting an answer to my question and it would only be stupid of me to ignore it.
Of course all my attempts to follow the books instructions were in vain, as i quickly lost interest and succumbed to procrastination. But it was around this time that I discovered the world of Wrimos again. Not the official NaNoWriMo, but its cousins: Julnowrimo, Augnowrimo and Septowrimo. There were WriMos all year long. So the first time I tried the dauting task of writing 50,000 words in a month was in July 2006. I was attempting to rewrite a story I had started to write when I was in the 10th grade. However, it was harder than pulling teeth! I hated my opening more than anything and didn't get past chapter 2 before I gave it up. Then I tried again in August. This time, a rewrite of my science fiction story which was the first original story that had a real plot that i've written, or at least start to write. This time, I learned an activity called Word Wars where you pretty much race with another writer during a period of time, like fifteen minutes, and see who can write the most words. This helped me get down alot of words, but I was still a heavy perfectionist at that time and so had to go back and edit all the stuf I wrote. I learned later that this is Wrimo Suicide. Believing I was complete crap of a writer, I gave up with around 20,000 words.
When November came around, I didn't even bother. Then 2007 came along and I decided to try again, this time with WriYe with 100,000 words as my goal. This time I was gonna do it! I joined a forum and everything. It went pretty well at first. I tried doing my julno rewrite again and actually got an opening I liked and carried on to chapter six. I even got a life coach in October to help me change my life and get me to fulfill my goal of becoming a published author. But eventually, I suddenly lost interest or perhaps life got too busy and I suddenly forgot it. Needless to say, I wasn't really commited. Even when NaNoWriMo 2007 came along, I joined it and then promptly forgot I was participating in it. I don't think i even got 10,000 words.
So it's pretty obvious I just don't get this NaNoWriMo thing. I didn't get what it means to have a real commitment, to have a real goal, and to really go for it continuously until it's done...until now.
I started a brand new story in July 2008, picking up wrimo's again after a hiatus of sorts. A lot had changed. The coaching program I was in has helped me greatly. I'm finally studying towards something I actually enjoy, even if it meant moving, paying rent and living from two places. But my life had gotten so busy, I had stopped writing...until July, when I suddenly got that spark again. I was telling someone of one of my many story ideas and suddenly got so inspired, I decided to just go with it and start writing.
At first, I still didn't really get it. I wrote 10k that month, then 10k in August. Didn't write anything in September, and then wrote a little in October. Then Novemeber came and I really wanted it to work this time. I had gone through so many self-help books and motivational material that I probably have all the information needed to be an expert at being succesful in life and yet I still was having trouble.
The turnabout happened on November 9th. I was behing by 12,000 words and I was suddenly fed up with myself. All this stuff I learned and I still couldn't keep a consistent writing habit. It wasn't like I didn't have enough free time. If anything, I had too much free time. So what was it? What was wrong with me?
Then I just snapped. I went over all the stuff I learned from Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins and finally commited myself to this book, to my future. That day, I wrote 12,000 words, the most I've ever written in a single day. I then planned out in detail how I was going to win NaNo and finish my novel by November 30th. I also went further and planned when I was going to edit it, to who I was going to send it to for feedback, and by when I was going to start sending it off to agents.
Since then, I've written 3,000 words daily for nearly a week, with a current NaNo wordcount of around 29,000 words.
I even went and signed up for a writing seminar in December to learn what I will have to know to get published. I'm that certain I'm going to make it by November 30.
Finally, after years of struggling, I think I finally get what it takes to actually accomplish such an intimidating goal as writing a book.