- Even though I was already four thousand words behind, I had a to take a break from the writing world today. I folded laundry and watched everything on my DVR.
I feel better.
Have any of you treated yourself to something away from writing during this NaNoWriMo insanity? A movie? A nice dinner? Anything fun?
- The room is crowded with nervous people and hard plastic chairs. Everyone waits for my confession.
I stand, force a smile to my face and wave awkwardly. “Hi, I’m Becky.”
The group responds, “Hi Becky.” All eyes are fixed on me, some of the looks are judgemental, others are understanding, and there’s a small portion of people who look perfectly miserable.
“I’m a…” I take a deep breath, embarrassed to find myself saying the words. They come out in a rushed whisper. “I’m NaNoWriMo Drop Out.”
Heads nod and there is a scatter of light applause.
An official looking woman, dressed in a blue cardigan and pearls, pats my arm. “You’re doing great, Becky. Just let it all out.”
“The truth is…” I can’t look at anyone, so I study my shoes. “I really don’t want to quit.”
The arm-patting continues and I hear a few murmured mmm-hmms and one ‘I felt the same way.’
“But I was like four-thousand words behind and I just couldn’t catch up. My kids were sick, my house was a mess, there was so much laundry to do.”
Blue Cardigan gives me a tight-lipped grin. “Go on.”
“And I–” My words are cut off as a door at the back of the room slams against the wall.
A woman walks in. A woman with pink hair, a nose ring, and really awesome leather pants. Besides the tough-as-nails appearance (and super skinny legs), she looks a lot like me. “Shut up, Becky,” she says with a glare. “You’re such a whiner.”
The whole room gasps. All eyes turn to look at the stranger.
Her hands fist on her hips. “Stop dreaming and get back to work.”
And then my husband’s alarm went off for the second time. Do I go back to sleep and dare face the scary, pink-haired version of myself or do I get up and write?
- Last November, I had an incomplete, unedited manuscript with a total word count of about 35k. I barely knew what the term ‘beta’ meant, and had no idea who or how to query.
Fast forward to the end of the month. My WIP was two chapters from complete and I had a group of incredible betas and crit partners. By mid-February, I’d worked through all my CPs revision suggestions and polished my query to a glistening sparkle.
Less than six-weeks later, I signed with an agent — an incredible agent from one of the best agencies for my genre.
I know my story is a rare one; not many people get an agent with their first completed manuscript. It took a lot of luck (timing, finding great betas, connecting with the right agent), and more hard work than I ever imagined. But it happened.
And it all started with NaNoWrimo.
I don’t need motivation to write. I want to write, I need to write! But I love having a hard deadline. I love knowing that thousands of people worldwide share my passion. I love that we cheer each other on and try to help when we get frustrated or depressed.
I love NaNoWriMo because if I hadn’t participated last year, I certainly wouldn’t have moved from the ranks of the unagented.
Now, I’m off to write so that I can make the next leap — from agented to published!
Good luck as you all write today! I hope you meet your goals…whatever they are!
P.S. Check back on Friday for my first Friday Critique!