The ideas for my new work in progress (well, the beginning of it anyways) are flowing through me like a crazy electrical current. The characters are demanding to have me tell their side of the story, through their words. I want to start writing now, but no, I am refraining. Why you ask? Because I am keeping my characters bottled up for November 1, the start of NaNoWriMo! (National Novel Writing Month)
NaNoWriMo began in 1999 with just over 20 participants. By 2010 over 200,000 people participated in the month long write fest. And the whole goal of this is just to get people writing. Think of that, and think of how many words they collectively wrote in 30 days...
This past week has been very challenging for me, I have made it a point not to write. Believe me, I want to, I adore writing, it is my passion, and one of my favorite hobbies. But over the last several months I have completed three books, well 2 ½ actually, I have put the final book in my first series on hold for now as I gear up for NaNo. The third book in my first series is the conclusion to the story, and I don’t want to rush it. The first draft is just about done, but I don’t want to leave anything out, and I want to make sure it shines!
So, I have dedicated the last few days of this month to getting ready for the big November 1 day, the beginning of NaNo. I have been reading blogs, and filling my mind with every writing tool I can think of, all the while not writing a word, which honestly is killing me.
I love to write. While I am at work, I write a lot for my job, which does help me when I get home and can write creatively. I guess I am pretty lucky to be able to convey ideas through words as a part of my job, and what makes it even more fun is as a nurse, I get to put together great words to create the overall picture of the disgusting situation I am trying to describe. (Yes, I am a little twisted!)
I digress…back to NaNoWriMo…what is it you ask? NaNoWriMo is a contest in a way. You sign up on the website, and you aim to reach a goal. The goal is 50,000 words in one month. And when you look at it like that, it might seem a daunting task. However, if you look at it on a smaller base, only 2000 words a day. And that is if you only do the minimum of 2,000 words a 50,000 words is completely attainable. That isn’t that bad is it? I don’t think so!
I’m sure there are many who write more than I do daily, but when I get home from work I can still get out at least 2000 words, more if I have a plotline running through my head. Which, seems to happen a lot, especially when I haven’t put the words to paper! Those 2000 words each day will add up fast, in one week, 14,000 words. In two weeks, 28,000 words, and so on, and so on.
Along with making this something fun, NaNoWriMo gives everyone an opportunity to be a winner. If you hit 50,000 words by November 30, you win. If you go over that, you still win. And if you don’t hit it, there is always next year! And you have a good start on a novel to boot!
I know I can do it, I wrote my second novel in about 6 weeks (87,000 words) So for me NaNo is not only about writing, it’s about making an attainable goal and reaching it. There is something to be said for making a goal and being able to achieve it. It can give you the motivation to continue, and achieve new and even loftier goals.
This will be my first year doing NaNo and I am so excited! I want to see how far I can get in 1 month. I have a habit of pushing myself to see if I can do it, and when I do, I feel like I accomplished something. Which in turn motivates me to do even more, and more, and more!
And yes, I would love to be able to say I wrote a bestselling novel that sold millions of copies, but even if that doesn’t happen at the end of it all I will have created something I am proud of.
So what are you waiting for? You still have a couple of days to come up with that new idea, and go to NaNoWriMo and get registered…what do you think? Are you up for the challenge? I look forward to seeing YOU there!