At the start of this month, I set aside to take on a challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel throughout November and I was doing great till the 7th day, I think. I wrote about 6377 words before I let myself fail.
It was most definitely my own failure, my lack of attention to the goal, and me trying to please other people on other areas of my life that led to this and I'm disappointed in myself a bit, but at least I tried. I wrote 6000 words, which is more than I have ever written a fiction. I'm glad I took on the challenge, and Insha Allah I will do next year and the year after that. I have made a couple good pen pals through Nano and I have managed to introduce Nano to so many people, I feel proud of that. Also, I get to cut down one goal from my life list. Next year, I shall add "Win NaNoWriMo" to my life list.
What did I learn from this? Here are a couple things.
People care This is a major lesson. I was going to quietly do my Nano just because i didn't have enough confidence that I could win, but then I realized that it's not about winning, it's about setting with a goal in mind. I told a couple of my friends and facebook friends about it, and I was surprised by how many people wanted to help. So many people, people I'm not even very close friends with volunteered to read and give me advice and so many people called me or said hi and asked about my Nano. It was truly overwhelming to know that people were cheering for me. It was wonderful and I'm so thankful to everyone.
Prioritize The one thing I am terrible at. I always tend to think of people before thinking about me, and while this is nice in general, it often leads into disappointment and things going wrong on my end. I really need to learn to say NO when needed and focus on myself first. I sometimes get really carried away in trying to please people, and this is a habit I need to control. Focus on things more important at the moment than dealing with other people's drama that I have absolutely nothing to do with.
Plan and stick to it The golden rule is to have a goal. But that's not enough, because I had this goal for ages but I didn't have a plan. I didn't write a chapter outline, or had any idea for an ending which led to so many nano freak out that some of my close friends had to deal with which believe me was not pretty. I should have made very precise plans, had an ending in mind and generally have been more prepared for it.
Don't be lazy This is of course a given. I can be lazy so many times. I really need to cut down on my screen time and generally plan my day better so I can be more productive. Also I try to find loopholes within my rules so I can justify to myself why I am doing what I do. This gets a bit unhealthy with time.
Anyway, I'm glad I took part in it and that it made some good changes in my life. Some great things that happened include finding great friends, learning to trust people with my ideas, standing up for my ideas, learning to take negative comments and not let it ruin things, sending my first ever post card, and even licking a stamp (ick!). It was a great ride and I'm happy I did it this time.