NaNoWriMo a/k/a National Novel Writing Month has commenced. It’s an event where thousands of writers sit down and pound out fifty thousand (50k) words in 30 days. Yours truly is taking part this year, as I have for the past several (5) years.
Most people think that’s not a lot of words, but in the spirit of which NaNoWriMo was conceived, I have nothing. I’m starting out cold. No concept. No synopsis. No plot. Now that I think about it, I’m a little … nauseous? In the past when I’ve went into NaNo, I’ve at least had an idea. This year, I just threw it all out the window.
How’s that for chutzpah?
While I’ll be taking a lot on this November, I’m looking forward to it. I get to sit down and just write like my life depended on it. I’ve not had the time to just let pure thought flow from my fingers in a long, long time. Thought I don’t have to worry about, nor edit. I’m so used to editing as I write, it’s going to be a challenge to flop back and forth. However, it will also give me the opportunity to flex my creativity in ways I’ve not flexed it in quite some time. This experience will be challenging and rewarding.
If you’re loved ones are participating in NaNoWriMo there are a few things you can do to help them out. Don’t ask them if they are done writing. Worse, don’t ask “you mean, you’re writing again today?” I get asked all the time “are you writing today?” Yes, yes I am. I’m a writer. We write. Every single day. Even if you don’t see it, we’re writing. It’s part of who we are and I can pretty much assure you our souls will shrivel up and wither away if we don’t.
Snacks important for some. I’m happy if you bring me a cup of coffee or green tea, pat me on the head and just leave me to it. Sure, there are times you’ll walk in on me and I’ll be sitting up in my bed, or slumped over at my desk, sound asleep. That’s what happens during NaNoWriMo. We’re not only working, but we’re creating something a new work, allowing our muse to pour organically through us, and attempting to say we wrote a novel in one month. While it may not be publisher ready material, we’re getting the bones down on something that is editable and teaches us more about ourselves than our day to day writing does. We’re learning to gut it out and just go as hard and as fast as we can, without worrying if this is going to be the piece that brings us the book deal.