I committed to writing a romance novel in June. It was a decision I didn’t take lightly. I knew it would take a lot of sacrifice and hard work to see the end result and the timing felt right. Coming up with an idea for my novel didn’t materialize overnight. It took months of soul-searching that set me on the path to believe that maybe, just maybe I could do this.
Although I was thrilled to start the writing process on the 1st of June, it began on an anticlimax as I could only write a few words before anxiety set in. I was feeling overwhelmed by the mammoth task ahead and doubted myself. It took a few days for the fear of failure to leave as I refused to give up, pitching up every evening, writing as many words as I could get out.
I’d also scheduled a number of writing days with fellow writers to work towards our various projects. This was daunting as I prefer to write in isolation. However, I felt their energy and skillfulness rubbing off, encouraging me to persevere. It was the perfect place to ask all sorts of writing related questions and receive professional advice without any charge! My writing friends are always eager to impart their knowledge, something I’m grateful for.
I managed to make it to Chapter Three when one of my friends challenged me to join Camp Nano Wrimo. This is a virtual camp that takes place during the month of July. One registers and creates a profile with a project and sets a goal of what you’d like to achieve during the month. I chose a goal of 10 000 words. That meant writing 323 words per day. It seemed manageable as I’m all for pacing instead of sprinting to the end.
When the 1st of July rolled around I was eager to get the ball rolling. I had four writing friends in Camp with me and it was fabulous to have a site dedicated to our goals, projects, word counts and a chat room to stay in touch. Once again I struggled to reach my daily target as my old friends “anxiety and doubt” surfaced. But I didn’t allow them to intimidate me as I diligently sat typing one word to the next, determined to achieve my goal.
Some days the story flowed beautifully, on others my characters were running in different directions like naughty children, much to my dismay. But I allowed them free reign, didn’t try to control, letting them to tell their story for I’m merely the scribe. It’s liberating pitching up at my computer not knowing what’s going to happen next, finding I’ve written more than anticipated, caught in the heat of a story even I don’t know the ending to 🙂
I reached my 10 000 word goal on 24 July 2017 on a high! I was so proud to have taken up the challenge, achieving what I set out to do. I even spoiled myself with a celebratory treat as a pat on the back for a job well done. I believe it’s important to celebrate oneself as expecting others to leads to disappointment as they don’t understand your sacrifice and commitment in pushing yourself beyond inconceivable limits.
Currently I’m sitting on Chapter Ten of my novel and I have to pinch myself because I didn’t think I’d get here. Camp Nano Wrimo gave the much-needed nudge to speed up my writing, to not overthink everything, to let the story flow and just enjoy the ride. The journey is far from over though, I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I know I have what it takes to get to the end.
There are a number of people who’ve been my pillars of strength during the month of July. My Writing Group consisting of talented, strong, intelligent women who’ve encouraged me every step of the way. We’ve come a long way and having you as a support network is priceless. My family, especially Neil who’s always been so supportive of my writing, affording me time to pursue my dream whilst listening to endless chatter about my project, accompanying me on research missions 🙂 without a complaint! My children for sharing the burden of household chores when needed most. A massive THANK YOU to you all, without your belief, love and understanding I wouldn’t have reached this magnificent moment <3