“There’s a book in you that only you can write.”
~ Chris Baty
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal is to start November 1 and write 50,000 words before the end of the month. Basically, a whole novel. Yikes! That is a lot of words in a very short period of time.
My friend and critique partner has been telling me about this month long event for years and encouraging me to give it a try. Nope. I have always resisted. I didn’t want the pressure, didn’t want to write words just for the sake of writing words and couldn’t imagine how this would help me. Besides, I have this teensy, weensy little personality quirk that makes me rebel whenever I am being told I have to do something. The thought of NaNo always threw that personality quirk into a frenzy .
I don’t know what changed for me this time. I would like to think I matured (Ha!), but it would be closer to the truth to say I just stuffed that pesky personality quirk into a box and taped it shut. It was annoying anyway. Or, maybe I just rebelled against my inner rebellion – who knows. 🙂 Either way, I signed up this year. I need to do NaNo.
I have been lazy these past months. I thought about writing, even had scenes mapped out in my head, but I didn’t sit down and transfer them to a page. I spent too much time flopped on my couch channel surfing for mindless entertainment. It was like having a bag of potato chips and trying to eat just one, you know? I got in the habit and couldn’t seem to break it. The worst part – I got bored very quickly. The horrifying part – when I did sit down to my computer the words were elusive and everything I wrote seemed pedantic and trite. It was discouraging.
Maybe the idea behind NaNo is not so crazy after all. Giving myself permission to turn off my inner editor and write whatever comes into my head might be just what I need. I have to do something to break through and get the words flowing again and the brass ring of 50,000 words by the end of the month is a great stretch goal.
The novel I have in mind is going to be more in the range of 80,000 when completed. I have a lot of story to tell, but the idea of meeting the NaNo goal does have a certain appeal. It is a huge chunk of my story and makes the original goal (yes, I do occasionally set them for myself) of finishing the first draft by December 31 more attainable.
So, I am lacing up my running shoes and standing ready for November 1st and the start of the race. I expect some bumps in the road and words that refuse to cooperate, but I am also hoping the path will get easier as I get those writing muscles back in shape. Besides, remember my friend? I am sure she is going to be nudging me along and refuse to let me quit. Thank goodness.
If you are interested in being a NaNo buddy my handle is KylieW. Look me up. We can race together.