Around 2008, my best guy friend (and now editor here at the MockingOwl Roost), Jeff Kirby, introduced me to National Novel Writing Month. I made my first venture into this month-long writing madness two years later. I’ve loved participating in NaNoWriMo every year since.
Now, NaNoWriMo 2021 promises to be my twelfth year participating and my eleventh year winning. In fact, by the time this piece publishes, I may have already won.
My journey along the way has been a rather unique one, I would imagine. The first year I wrote, I was “locked” away in my bedroom for the month, writing between bursts of fundraising, ministry, and theatrical endeavors. The following year, similar. The third year, I lived in a run-down motorhome in the backwoods of Florida, awaiting my move to Chicago. I had no full-time job these three years, so they didn’t take me that long to win (apart from the first one when I was gaining my “NaNo legs”).
After moving back to Chicago in 2014, the following several years were filled with part-time jobs as a nanny, daycare worker, coach, dog walker, and random other one-off jobs (including secret shopper). Then, in 2017 after marrying my amazing soulmate, I dove into my career as a professional writer full-time. I had yet to find that first full-time gig, but I worked with a jazz magazine and odd jobs. Again, my days in November were pretty open and flexible. I finished my novels pretty quickly.
Now, as a full-time writer, I still find the energy and time to win NaNoWriMo pretty early most years (last year, I won in the first week of November).
All of this is good and well for me. But how does it help you?
Well, my journey in NaNoWriMo is unique. I acknowledge that. But even as a full-time writer writing something like 30,000 a week for clients, I still manage to enjoy participating in NaNoWriMo. It’s our favorite holiday!
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.