Monday, November 1, 2010

Novice Novelist’s NaNoWriMo Notions

I’m writing my first novel this month.

Ambitious? Definitely.

Presumptuous? Perhaps.

Possible? Absolutely!

You see, I won’t be doing it alone. I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month (abbreviated as NaNoWriMo), an annual project that encourages and supports writers to write every day in November toward a singular goal – a 50,000-word original novel.

When I contemplate meeting this challenge, I go back and forth between thinking it will be an effortless flow of creative mojo or a guilt-drenched exercise in futility. 50,000 words in 30 days breaks down to 1,667 words a day. Considering my usual writing pace, that’s just under 2 hours a sitting. That shouldn’t be that difficult - I spend as many hours a day catching up on Hulu and DVR.

Until you consider the days I get invited to dinner with friends after work or the days when I feel about as creative as a tree stump and drown myself in Netflix Watch Instantly instead. Distractions that will hold painful consequences this month. Skipping just one day will mean 4 hours of writing the next. Hours will pile up like a dam if I’m not careful. This will be a solid exercise in discipline for me.

And really, that’s the most exciting part of NaNoWriMo. The goal is not to write 50,000 brilliant, ready-for-Kindle words that inspire and move even the coldest of hearts. The goal is just to write. No time for the inner critic to get in the way here. Even with a day job, I know I have plenty of time to write. This month, I challenge myself to give that time to myself and leave all distractions behind.

Plus, there’s plenty of inspiration from which I can draw. Last year, 32,178 writers successfully met the NaNoWriMo challenge. If they can do it, I can do it. And a slew of authors have had their NaNoWriMo works published, including Sara Gruen’s exquisite novel Water for Elephants,which will soon be seen as a feature film starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz.

So here I go. I don’t even know what my novel will be about, but I’m ready and excited for the adventure. If you've done NaNoWriMo before, please leave your inspiring words of experience (or cautionary tales) in the Comments. See you in 30 days!

No comments:

Post a Comment