Nearly an entire month has passed since my last post.

I have started to write two different times, but alas, it hasn’t actually come through to finished posts. That is undoubtedly because I have been up to my eyeballs in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, it’s a real thing. The premise is to write 50,000 words in the month of November – whether a novel or otherwise.

I have been working specifically on a novel. I had originally intended for it to be a stand alone novel, but it sort of morphed into book 2 of a series I hadn’t intended to write. A fantasy series about an elf named Tamerna (more like night elf from WoW and less like Santa’s little helper) and some things happen and she reacts, etc. You know, general story stuff happens.

Book 2 , currently titled The Legend of Tobias Snow, is based off a short story I wrote a couple months ago to submit to an anthology put together by a facebook group I once was in. Well, as fortune would have it, I broke one of the rules and now no longer have an anthology to submit to, but I still have a pretty darn good short story. Everyone who read it said they wanted to know more about Tobias, thus this novel. I had originally planned it to be a nice little history of Tobias, but it simply took a completely different direction.

I am a discovery writer, or pantser as some say, which basically means I write as I go. I don’t do very much planning and certainly don’t do anything in the way of outlining, so the story more presents itself to me than I plan it and write it out. For me, that is the beautiful thing about writing, the flow of words from my brain to my fingers and then onto the paper (or screen as it may be). Watching a story take shape in front of my eyes is one of the most fun things I do with my free time. Going back and watching it evolve seeing where I have to go back and fix the front end so it matches the back end is a different task entirely, but I do enjoy that part too.

I have definitely learned quite a bit about myself in this process of making and trying to reach goals. A terrible habit of mine is to give up if I think I can’t reach a goal or if I think that it feels fake to make a big push right at the end in order to reach a goal. That hasn’t been the case with NaNo. It ends in three days (including today) and I still have 10k words to write, which means I need to bust out more than 3k words a day to make it. Usually, I would throw in the towel and say “I can’t do it, it’s not worth making a huge push to get there” but not this time. This time, I am doing it.

It’s also given me another little nudge to make a good push to end my 30 30s strong. There are several categories I will not finish. I know this, but I still have an entire month to make a push for some I KNOW I can finish and that is precisely what I’m going to do. The point of NaNo, the point of the 30 30s, is to stretch myself, to push myself, to help myself grow in ways I might not have grown otherwise.

I watched a documentary recently called The Barkley Marathons and the race founder at one point says something like ‘It’s such a privilege to watch people push themselves farther than they think they can go’. So my 30 30s, my NaNo, my ultra – all of these are attempts to push myself farther than I think can go. Those are the moments, the times, where we learn the most about ourselves. I’ve really enjoyed these challenges and I want to do my best to achieve as many goals as I can, to push myself to walk just outside my usual boundaries.

When is the last time you really pushed yourself?