National Novel Writing Month

Being a part of an active online writer’s community, there is a lot of conversation and focus on National Novel Writing Month this time of year. For anyone who isn’t sure what NaNoWriMo is, check out this link:

In a nutshell, it’s a yearly writing challenge that forces one to produce a 50k word novel in the month of November. The idea is that writing something that quickly allows your creative stream to flow freely from start to finish, getting out that first draft without getting bogged down with editing and rewriting. You don’t have time to edit or rewrite. Any writer who makes it to the 50k mark, whether or not the novel is finished at this point, is named a winner of NaNoWriMo.

I’ve decided to take the plunge and signed up for the challenge. I made the impulsive decision last night, and I’m rather excited at the prospect of getting most of my planned novel’s first draft out in a single month. It’s a bit nerve-wracking… can I do it? Can I actually write 1700 words a day? I have a full time day job and a family… when am I going to find time to write for NaNo?

The thing is, when you enter a challenge like this, there’s no time to think. You just know that you have to put out that 50k word count within the month, so you make time to write. In most situations, I work extremely well under pressure – a fast-approaching deadline does make me a bit frantic, yes, but it also gives me the necessary focus to get things done without allowing myself to be distracted.

And so, I begin my preparations for NaNo, building my character profiles and setting up my story structure so that on November 1st I can hit the ground running. I’ll be working on an idea that’s come to life and fizzled so many times I’ve lost count. Poor Davin has been screaming at me to just tell his story already.

I can’t wait to get started. :)



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