In eighth grade, my creative writing teacher introduced me to NaNoWriMo. I was thirteen at the time. NaNo was a way to express myself and to let some of the stories out of my head.
Did I do well? Nope! If I remember right, I didn’t even make it halfway.
I didn’t do NaNo the next year. Or the year after that. It ended up slipping my mind. I eventually got back to it as a junior in high school…and I won.
And then I did it again and again. My novels throughout college though—especially that first one—sucked. (I’m not even exaggerating. I set it up to be a fantasy story by mentioning a witch on page one, but everyone throughout the story was human. I forgot to add the magic.) I ended up rewriting my main WIP a couple times during NaNo as well.
But my first NaNo is just as important as my latest ones, even though I didn’t win. NaNo is more about setting the time aside to focus on your craft. Ignore the world. Ignore the gates they set up to keep you away. Instead, set time aside to do something you love.
I hope that NaNo this year is exactly that for you. Even if you don’t win, you’ll grow as a writer. Even if something messes up, you set the time aside to focus on something you love, which is amazing and important.
Write the story you would love to see on a bookshelf.