November is National Novel Writing Month!  This online novel writing challenge encourages writers from all over to buckle down and crank out 50,000 words to a brand new story in 30 days.  Difficult?  Oh yeah!  Do you want to pull your hair out most days?  Definitely!  Is it worth it?  In more ways than I can put into words…

My first attempt at writing 50,000 words in 30 days was in 2015.  I set out to write the rough draft of the second book in my Guardians of Bliss series.  Needless to say I was a bit overwhelmed.  I didn’t reach the goal, but I did manage to write 22,000 words which hadn’t existed before, and that felt pretty good.

In 2016, I won!  In 27 days, I wrote 54,000+ words (I got a late start!) and had the beginnings of a brand new young adult book series.  I can honestly say this was one of the most satisfying accomplishments in my life.  I felt as though I had run a marathon!  Tired, cranky, and full of way too much caffeine, I entered in the final word count on November 30, 2016, just a few minutes before the clock struck midnight.

The only prize I received was the knowledge that I was completely capable of creating a whole new world of characters in a very short amount of time.  I also learned when I truly push myself, I can achieve any goal I set.  My only limit is whatever obstacle I put in my own path.

I am both excited and terrified for the coming month.  Excited because if I reach my goal, I will have the rough draft for the final book in my Guardians of Bliss series.  This story has been a part of my soul for 15 years.  The characters have been living in my head, sharing their stories, and debating their points of view for so long they feel like family.  To write the final words of their tale will be bittersweet.

I am terrified because, like most everyone in this world, I am afraid of failing.  Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is daunting when you don’t have a whole lot on your plate.  Right now, however, my plate is kind of full.  Not only am I raising three girls, I’m also home schooling them, and I’m their chauffeur to their many hours of dance classes.  Not to mention the fact the holiday season is coming up… It just feels like a lot right now.

So much so that I considered not going through with it this year.  But I know I will feel sad if I don’t challenge myself.  Especially because I know I am capable of reaching the finish line.  I know I will wonder what I could have accomplished if I had just set my mind to the task.  And so I will be striving to crank out an average of 1,166 words each day throughout the month of November.  Wish me luck!

How about you guys?  Have you ever set a goal for yourself that made you feel both terrified and excited at the same time?  How did things turn out for you?

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