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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at URI chapter.


   I have decided to take the leap to participate in the challenge of writing 50,000 words over the course of November as part of NaNoWriMo. So far, I have written 8,548 words, and the whole process is already proving to be an awesome experience. I have decided to use HerCampus as an outlet to document the journey as it unfolds, especially because it is a community of writers and readers- the people who understand the most! 

          Devoting so much energy and time each day to make achieving such a great goal in a small period of time has been tricky. Writing the novel is an on-going process that I spend all day thinking about. How can I make it better? How can I continue to make it the best it can be? It all extends beyond sitting down and typing. I find myself struggling to get through spurts of writing without constantly checking my word count, but the more I write, the more I realize that this is so much more than a challenge or a one month program. I have several friends who check in on me every day to make sure I am focused and still proud of the progress. This has been the greatest help, and I suggest not skipping this step of finding accountability partners if you decide to take the leap into anything new! 

Everywhere I go, I think about this book that I am creating. I try to view every paragraph as hopeful pieces of art that did not exist yesterday. One of the reasons why writing amazes me so much is that with everything I read, I realize that the author is incredibly unique. Each work that I read is different, and without the consideration of the author, there would be no magic in reading. I have used this as a motivation for myself as I hope to become someone who can say that I created something that only I can create. One of my professors brought this concept of constant creation to my mind, and since then, I have been more inspired than ever to get writing. After today, another 1,600 words will exist in my story that do not exist right now. No matter what those words may be- that thought is so special to me because they will be uniquely mine, and I will be changed by them. I also noticed that I find characters in passerby at the mall and new exposition ideas with every conversation I overhear (I’m not going to lie, eavesdropping is a pretty great story motivator).

Eliott Reyna via Unsplash

     I am beginning to share my very rough draft of the first novel I have even seriously devoted so much care into writing, and it feels great. It feels like I can finally begin to use the label “writer” without feeling so fraudulent. This is my push to you to jump into something that sounds so wonderful that it might make you nervous because even the journey itself is unforgettable. You know what they say- life is a journey- and I am embarking on one of my greatest journeys of devotion, passion, and hopefully, 50,000 words.

Hi! My name is Alyssa Houlis, and I am a senior English major with a business minor. I have enjoyed my studies at URI for all of the opportunities I get to write and explore the lovely language that is English. I am excited to see what opportunities will present themselves once I graduate from lil' Rhody! In my free time, you will probably catch me hugging a tree, painting, or skating!