During Lent, you have to give up one thing for a month. During NaNoWriMo, you have to give up pretty much everything! I have not written fiction since fourth grade, yet I decided I could write a novel in 30 days. The challenge seemed absurd yet fun. Besides, what else was I going to do in November? Sit at home fretting every night that I did not receive an acceptance letter for graduate school? Spend money going to dinner outside of my home with other human beings? Overrated! I locked myself in the home or at my favorite coffee shop, Republic Coffee, every free moment I had. Sure, I gave up social interaction for the most part, but I am now proud to call myself a novelist. My boyfriend, friends, family, and pets still love me after a month of neglect, and I was accepted to grad school. It is amazing how life goes on even when I am not micromanaging every second of it. I remain uncertain that anyone but myself will ever know the content of my 50,029 word novel, but the sense of accomplishment is reason enough for me to start the next one!