Ah, spring! The time of year when one’s thoughts turn to writing a 50 thousand word novel in 30 days. Can it really be October again already?
I haven’t done well in the NaNoWriMo department recently. I failed last year – fibromyalgia and general anxiety joined forces to stop me in my tracks around 20 thousand words – and for some reason I’ve never been able to give Camp NaNo a proper go. I always lose interest within the first week.
But I’m trying again. I have a good idea… Actually, I have about 5000 words. Those won’t be counted as part of it, of course, and I know it’s cheating, but I really like this idea. If I don’t sit down and really hammer out a draft, it’ll never get done. And November is wonderful for the momentum of a first draft. I’m a “pantser”; I write by the seat of my pants without much plotting. And while I’m very happy with my basic idea, I don’t really know where this novel is going. I don’t have an arc plotted out. Without the panic of NaNoWriMo to get me moving, I’ve been plodding along at the speed of an arthritic snail, second guessing myself.
And anyway NaNo has a magic to it. All of October is a great build-up to the moment writing begins. People joining the forums, newbies and old hands, talking about writing and coffee and nonsense. The Travelling Shovel of Death! The Nanoisms! Serious writers, published writers, writers who are just in it for the fun of it. People who have never strung together two sentences of fiction in their life. It’s two months of the year you return to the forums to chat and encourage and commiserate with people you barely see outside of NaNo. It’s spectacular fun, and once again, I am participating come hell or high water!