For years and years I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a novel. If you’ve known me long, it might not be hard to imagine. I’ve always been a writer. Some of my earliest memories are of creating characters, building tales. But a story idea has been bubbling around in my brain stew for quite some time but I have yet to do anything about it.
Now that I’m a freelance (read: unemployed) writer with oh so many spare minutes in the day, I thought: Why not now?
I’ve been toying with the idea of participating in this year’s National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo started 11 years ago and brings together some 200,000 writers each November in a challenge to write their novel’s first draft.
Anyone can sign up. The rules are simple: begin writing a new novel at midnight Nov. 1 and finish writing Nov. 30 by midnight. Complete 50,000 words in this time and blamo, you’re a novelist.
Obviously, it’s not that simple. But you get the idea. Stop talking about writing a book. Stop thinking about writing a book. Get to work and write the darn book.
Writing an average of 1,700 words every day for 30 days doesn’t leave much time to edit, to make sure at least some of those words are good, make sense, make someone feel something other than putting your book down. But that’s part of the point. Just dump your brain into your notebook in November and use that glorious high that comes with having “written a book” to carry you on to the real work — sculpting your lump of clay into a masterpiece.
I won’t say I’m not scared. Committing to something usually makes me nervous to the point of nausea. But hey, I’m not getting paid. o one is going to read what I write. No one is going to be disappointed in me if I don’t finish. And if I don’t finish, there’s always next year. Surely I’ll learn something along the way, even if it’s just that I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew.
But since I dream of one day facing the new misery that is seeking an agent, then finding a publisher, then of walking into those ancient temples of dead trees to see my book on a shelf, I think I’ll go for it.
I still hope to post here each week while I’m buried in the torment, so I think I might just post pictures of my kids and perhaps a quick update on how I’m doing. Maybe a word count. Maybe a read on my blood-pressure cuff. Who knows. Whatever it is, I don’t want to have to think about it too much. You know, save the brain cells for MY BOOK. 🙂