In all my “National Writing Encouragement Day” excitement last week, I forgot to mention that I’d signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) myself this year, a quest of literary insanity in which participants from all over the world compete against the clock to write a 50,000-word novel in thirty days. That translates into a daily writing average of 1,667 words — not necessarily good words. Just words.
I tried NaNo twice before — failed miserably. Wait. I take that back. I didn’t complete the 50K word goal, but I guess I can’t call the effort a miserable failure — it did get me in the writing state of mind. That was back before I was writing full time, so anything helped. Not long after, I began working on TWENTY BOY SUMMER and spent the next few years doing that rather than participating in NaNo. Then I was on to FIXING DELILAH HANNAFORD, which I just completed revising. But this year, when NaNo came around, the timing was perfect again. I was done with Delilah, I’m awaiting agent feedback on a partial of my third book, and here I am, sitting in this perfect storm of an opportunity to start something new. And I mean totally new — a completely different style and genre then my previous contemporary YA romance type stuff.
NaNoWriMo kicked off at midnight this morning, November 1. Between the wee hours of 12 and 4:30 AM (which was really like 5:30 because the clocks rolled back midway through it all), I hit 2,323 words. There’s no accounting for taste here, but it’s kind of a big deal for me. Like a custom theme-song, dance-worthy big deal, because I’m the kind of writer who labors over every sentence and edits as I go. It’s a slow process for me — sometimes painfully so. But I’m using NaNo to work on that, allowing myself to write fast and revise later.
It’s been one day. So far, so good. More to come. Speaking of which, time to get back to work!
Best of luck to all the NaNo peeps out there! I’m sarahockler on the boards if you want to buddy me.