It’s November, and that means it’s the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short).
I have always been captivated by NaNoWriMo. I’ve been following its social media pages for years, wanting to join in, but never feeling like I had the talent or the resources to start.
This year, I’ve decided to do it. I’ve decided that it’s time to start working on a book idea I’ve had for years — and I am so excited!
Wait. What is NaNoWriMo again?
NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire the writing community, providing them with resources, community forums, workshops, seminars, and more. National Novel Writing Month started in 1999 with the challenge for writers to complete 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.
It is. As someone who has never written a book before, I am very hesitant to get started. What if I don’t reach my goals? What if I can’t dedicate time to my book every day? What if it plain old sucks? How am I supposed to come out of this writing the next Water for Elephants or The Night Circus? Should I even do this?
The answer is yes. Yes, I should.
I realized that it’s not about what comes out my project, but what I make of it. I am closer to finishing this book than I’ve ever been before. I’ve drafted a storyline and characters. I’ve started sketching the first few chapters of the book, and hey, that’s something I am already proud of.
So, while I won’t realistically write 50,000 words by Dec. 1 (hey, anything can happen!), I do plan to write the first 5 chapters of the book by the end of the month. Between work, homeownership, pregnancy, and the holidays approaching, I am setting an achievable goal from the start.
I hope to write at least one hour a day, perhaps more on the weekends if my work schedule does not allow me to dedicate an hour on weeknights. I have a feeling I can achieve this goal, and, who knows? Maybe I’ll even surpass it!
I just want to write. I want to sit down and come up with a story. Even if it’s the worst story ever. Even if I sit there and go, “Ugh. What was I thinking?” That time will not be considered wasted. Writing creatively is something that I’ve missed doing, and to be able to create a story, craft dialogue, and sketch a world that I imagined is so rewarding.
Stories matter. I will do my best to remind myself that though it may not be perfect, I am flexing this creative muscle that I’ve wanted to exercise for years.
I am looking forward to this journey, and I plan to update my blog with milestones throughout the month. Maybe I’ll even share an excerpt or two?
Write on, creative nerds.
Anyone participating in NaNoWriMo? What project are you working on?