This is the second post in a four-part NaNoWriMo blog series.
You made it to day 15 of NaNoWriMo, and we’re so proud of you.
It’s hard. 1,667 words a day seems feasible, but then life happens. Kids need to make it to school on time, work projects have to be finished, pets must be walked. Finding the time to write is actually impossible sometimes. But you’ve done it. Even if you’ve missed a few days or only made a partial word count or just wrote a single letter, you’ve done it. You’re halfway there.
NaNoWriMo tests people who want to write. It’s draining, and it’s difficult to keep the spirits up (I know the mid-NaNo sleep marathon well). The halfway point is an important milestone. The perfect moment to figure out your motivation. Time to be honest. I mean really honest. No one else will know this but you.
It’s time to ask yourself why you love to write.
You don’t have to “be a Writer” to complete NaNoWriMo. The participants are from so many different paths of life. We’re all here because we love writing. But why do you love writing?
I love writing because I love storytelling in every form. Books and art and music and video games. I love them all. Each provides a different way to tell a story; writing happens to be my preferred medium. I love designing characters because I never truly abandoned my imaginary friends. I want to know exactly how my characters ended up here. I want to spend the time discovering my own world.
I love writing because I love language. I’m an editor, so that’s to be expected, but I loved language before I loved editing. There is nothing so wonderful as tasting the perfect word as it settles on your tongue. Language is semantics, and writing is a specific translation. A once-in-a-lifetime treasure hunt.
I love writing because I want to be published. If you write, you’re a Writer, even if you never publish. However, wanting to be published isn’t shameful or bad. You’re not a sell-out. Life requires livelihood. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to support yourself through writing? To prioritize and value and treasure your chosen career? Yes, I love writing, and yes, I want to be published.
Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries, has spoken before about quitting things you don’t enjoy to make time for the things you do. Sometimes, that’s not possible. Yet, reminding myself why I love writing helps me better value and prioritize the writing I can work on. It doesn’t matter if your reasons are profound or simplistic or if they even make sense. They’re your reasons. Prioritize them. Enjoy them. Love them.
There’s 15 more days this NaNoWriMo. I know it’s tough. But I know you can do it.