post was on June 29, 2010. Whoops!
To refresh your memories, it was 2006. I had participated in my first Muse Online Writers Conference and secured my first paid writing gig. There was all this talk about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) at the conference, and I figured it would be a great way to get my career moving in the right direction.
I performed whatever research I could, and geared up to get writing on November 1st. There are a lot of reasons I didn't win NaNoWriMo that year, but the main one is the same reason I don't plan to participate this year--I don't enjoy writing that way. If you ask me, NaNoWriMo is similar to blogging: either you love it or you don't. I love blogging. I don't love NaNoWriMo.
I truly needed more time to perform research for the novel I wanted to write. In addition, I just didn't write that fast. Thousands of words a day were not what I produced. Now that I've switched to the children's market, I find myself more productive.
In 2006, however, I still felt I would be writing for adults. And while I haven't given up on projects for people above the age of 16, I'm enjoying writing for kids. I was at my daughter's school a few weeks ago giving a writing workshop. Her teacher mentioned how I could easily have been a teacher. When I was younger that's actually one of the careers I wanted to work toward. Life changed and my goals changed with it.
So, I muddled along with NaNoWriMo. My online friends said they would be glad when it was over because my whole personality changed with the pressure of trying to write in a way that was unnatural to me. I managed close to 7,000 words before I said something like, "Forget it. This ain't for me." I was concerned, because at that point I felt if I couldn't manage NaNoWriMo, there was no way I would ever become a published author.
That was proved wrong, however. My first published book would be four years into the future, but not winning NaNoWriMo wasn't the reason it took so long.
Read Part 5 here!