I did it. This is the first time ever I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and so far I am loving it. Let me give you my take on it and why it’s working for me.
First off, the idea of writing 50,000 words in a month is not so daunting for me. I’ve done it before when I had deadlines and books due. The fastest I’ve ever written a book (rough draft) was two months. That was with A Matter of Pride and I just wanted to see if I could do it. Turns out it was one of my favorite books. (see the Pretty Baby post). Maybe it was because I knew what was going to happen (not plotting–I don’t do much extensive plotting; I just have a general idea of what the story will be) and didn’t leave myself time to second guess what I was putting on the paper. So this year, after many month of writing heartaches and pain, I needed something to kickstart my writing again. I had been plodding along, but I just wasn’t feeling it. My daughter (one of the twins) is also a writer. Not published yet, but she is working on her second novel. She signed up for NaNoWriMo and asked me to as well. What the hell, I thought. So I did.
The thing about me is that I have an enormous responsibility streak in me. When I sign up for or commit to something, I do not shirk my duties. (Thus when I quit my volleyball team earlier this year–long story–you know it was a major issue that caused me to do that. Okay, you only have my word for it, but honestly, it was a big traumatic deal for me.) As soon as I signed up for NaNo in October, I started regretting it. Writing really did break my heart this year and last–several times–so I wasn’t eager about doing NaNo. And then I started.
OMG (sorry). It’s been fantastic! Not only have I reached the goal every day so far, the joy is back. I’m having such fun. Yes, it’s work; yes, it’s hard; yes, I’ve taken wrong turns and had to delete scenes; but I’ve always managed to make forward progress and like what poured out on the paper. I can’t believe how much I look forward to facing the page (yes, I’m hand writing it, then transferring to computer) each day. That responsibility gene may have kick started me, but now it’s me and I’m loving it.
Now I also have to make a confession. You’re supposed to start Nano with a brand new work, from the beginning, with nothing written on it yet. I’m a rebel. I had a half finished novel that I’m working on, but honestly, 50,000 words is 50,000 words. I don’t need validation from the website, I don’t need to win any prizes, I just needed that responsibility gene to kick in (That gene is also why I’m so good on deadline–in ten published books, I haven’t missed one yet and turned in nine of them at least a month early. Yes, I was that freak in high school and college who turned in term papers early too. Except once, when I wanted to experience what an extension felt like. I hated it. I had a semester and turned it in a week after the due date.)
So my words for today are done, I’m looking forward to tomorrow, and now I’m off to play. Or do laundry. Unfortunately real life does like to intrude.
Books I’m reading now
A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin