What November Taught Me About Writing

For the third time in the last three years, I have attempted to write in the challenge known as NaNoWriMo. The challenge is simple. Write a novel (50,000 words) in one month (30 days). Sounds easy enough. However, there is a distinct difference, I have found, between sounding easy and being easy. Writing 1,667 words one day for a month sounds easy…until you have to take into consideration all of the other projects, commitments, and general things you have to do because life demands them.

This year ended no differently for me than it has in the past. I did not finish my novel. Hell, I didn’t even make it to the 10,000-word mark. But, unlike other years where I have been swamped with school work and heading into finals time, I did manage to actually start the novel, which can be considered a feat itself. That’s 6,424 words that I didn’t have a month ago. That’s the whole plot of a novel that I didn’t have a month ago. Or a plot that I may have written down and never pursued. For all I know, this is the story that’s worth a million dollars. Or it could be another novel that I write that sits on my shelf only read by a few close friends and family.

Either way, November taught me that any writing is good writing. While I may not have completed what I set out to do at the beginning of the month, I don’t look at it as a failure. I look at it as a start to being creative and there is nothing at all wrong with that.

And just for fun, I’ve included below the opening to the novel that I started to write in November. It’s unedited, and raw from the file that I’ve been writing it in…so don’t judge and critique it just yet. I plan to finish it. I don’t know when, but I know I will. Cheers for another month down and the challenge to try again next year!

Chapter 1

Margaret Red was one of the best journalists in all of Washington, DC. She was considered fashionable with her long red hair, light blue eyes, and fair complexion. She was smart with her journalism degree from Columbia University and years of experience in on-the-ground reporting in New York City. She was willing to do everything and anything to tell a story the way she thought it should be told, sometimes causing controversy with her stories. She was also entirely fictional. A creation from the mind of Katie Shen when she was twenty-seven years old. But, from Katie’s perspective, it was entirely Margaret’s fault that she found herself sitting in the interview chairs across from Selina Marie, the host of the nation’s biggest media buzz show on NBC not once, not twice, but for the third time in her life on a cold day in September.

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