Why do we do it? Why do we set the goal of 50,000 words in one month? Cassidy is doing it, I'm doing it. I know a dozen people I meet with online and in my living room that all felt the challenge and are facing the numbers every day.
What drives us? What makes us show up every day with sore fingers, sore wrists and eyes that ache?
Laurie Olson needed to light a fire under her to get this project off the back burner. "I've been planning for so long," she says, "that I was kind of stuck in that stage." Claire Walton, a first timer, just wanted to see if she could do it. And with only 14,000 words to go, she is paving the way for the rest of us old timers.
I participate in the NaNo every year as a form of recess to excess, where I get to work on a project that has been waiting in the wings, or start a new one right from scratch instead of one that is due. I clear off teaching assignments for November, guest blogs, anything that might distract me from the book at hand. This year, that book is Snap Shots: good ol’ cops with a good ol’ ghost.
They warn us from NaNo Central about the dreaded Week Two, when the newness of the adventure has worn off and the majority of people, who won't be finishing, decide not to finish. There are still those who are committed. ... or as Brendan Sta says "Insane." These writers have a word count of 20,000 or 40,000. If they can make it to Week Three, chances are they will be making it to the end.
Says Ellie Mack: "I'm doing it to reestablish my daily habit of writing. When you get out of any habit it's hard to restart. This gives me a challenge, a daily goal, and the opportunity to occasionally interact with like minded people."
There is a unity among these people. Online, on Twitter, on Facebook or even in your own region where you are meeting with like minded writers, all striving for the same thing: a 50,000 first draft and a piece of paper we get to print out from our own computer that says "You Did It. You made it to The End.”
Is it worth it? The people I spoke to seemed to think so. Cassidy does too. And me, I will be here next just to see what happens next in whatever story I am working on then.