Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Day One

My anal-retentive self is only a little frustrated that November/National Novel Writing Month didn't start on a Wednesday, which could have resulted in a Writer's Wednesday about NaNoWriMo. Only a little, I swear.

I think I've discussed ad nauseum about my first novel, and my fun times getting it published. I was originally set on giving up entirely on the mainstream route and self-publishing it before a friend of a friend suggested that I send my work to his agent, using said friend of a friend as a recommendation. This prompted me to go right back to work on my query, utilizing my husband's uncanny ability to polish all types of writing (but especially writing that is supposed to sell a product well). While my query isn't ready enough in my eyes to send my work out to said agent, it has motivated me enough to maybe -- just maybe -- try the agency hunt again. And honestly, what's the worse that can happen? I spend an extra few months sending out emails before going back to Plan B again?

What I don't really talk about are my other writing endeavors: namely, the second novel I've been working on (but haven't gotten past Chapter 3), and the two other novel ideas that have been swirling around in my head (I don't "brainstorm" so much as I let novels simmer in my mind until I think they're ready to be at least outlined). I wrote my first novel in a very slow-but-steady pace, 10 pages here or there for nearly a year until the novel was complete. I was hoping to do the same with my current novel.

Life, however, had different plans. I finished my first novel in the beginning of 2010, and since then, I: graduated college, started my first job as a Pre-K teacher, got engaged, took night courses, got married, moved across state lines, changed jobs, took up tai chi & yoga & ice hockey, and started doing crafts again. And, enrollment-willing, I'll be teaching a Friday night beginner's tai chi class at a nearby YMCA.

That schedule doesn't allow for much, even in the slow-and-steady pace.

That's where National Novel Writing Month comes in. For some, NaNoWriMo is a month-long, intensive writing session where one comes up with a brand new novel idea and completely fleshes it out in one month's time. For others, it's a chance to write out a novel they had been working on for ages.

The beauty of NaNoWriMo is that it can be exactly what you want it to be, so long as it motivates you to write. Some feel they have "won" if they write an entire novel; others, if they write 50,000 words. For me, I'm hoping to write 1,000 words a day, good or bad, every day, for the entire month of November. This also means I'll be writing 1,000 words a day on Thanksgiving, when I see Gabriel Iglesias (one of the funniest modern-day comedians) live, and when I fly down to Florida for my brother-in-law's wedding.

It's going to be a challenge, but I really want to write out this novel. To lessen the burden, I'm hoping to use my blog this month to focus primarily on my writing. It's not as interesting as, say, videos about Taylor Swift music and necklace tutorials, but if I can focus my creative energy on just one thing, I might be able to do it.

So today is Day 1 of NaNoWriMo. With any luck, I'll be 30,000 words deeper into my book by the month's end. Hopefully I'll make it out with my sanity intact.

To find out more about National Novel Writing Month, visit There are some wonderful tips, ideas -- you can even create an account to log your process alongside millions around the country. I hope this months inspires all of us to do a little more writing, even if it's just writing about our day, writing emails to friends, or even just stream-of-conscious writing in our blogs :)

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