Friday, October 28, 2011

November is National Novel Writing Month

January Black started out as a NaNoWriMo project. I fell 10k short of the goal, but the past two years of my life (and my husband and son’s lives) have been wrapped up in the idea that was cultivated in November of 2009. It’s finished. It’s out on submission. It will see the light of day if I have to publish it myself. It’s a rewarding experience. If you have a bit of an idea but just needed to sit down and start it…next Tuesday’s your day. Stop making excuses and write 1700 words. Do it again on Wednesday. And Thursday. And on December 1st, you’ll have 50,000 words that you wrote. Are they good? Maybe, maybe not, but you’ll have proved to yourself that you can do it and that’s what really matters.

I am NOT doing NaNoWriMo this year. Well, not exactly. You see, there are two types of writers…plotters and pantsers. Plotters are the people who plan out the minute details before they compose. The pantsers “fly by the seat of their pants,” which is why they’re called that. I used to be a pantser, back in the ‘90s. Then I took a novel writing class. In January, I had wings on my butt. By May, I had picked up calipers, t-squares, levels, and a fundamental understanding of blue prints. As a result, it was ten years before I was able to complete another novel.

I have two ideas for projects, but no idea where either is going. I know I will spend the next thirty days trying to work that out, and then, when I do, it may require throwing out entire chapters. I’m okay with that in June, when the last place I want to be is outside, but not in November when my free time is better spent pitching balls to a certain three year old who is freakishly talented with a baseball bat.

So…how does someone “not exactly” participate in NaNoWriMo? Write something else. There is a sister event (that I have not committed to actually joining) called National Blog Posting Month. The goal is simple enough…one post per day for a month. Given my poor posting habits, it appears to be a good exercise to get me into a regular blogging habit. That should be challenging enough, but I’m still smarting over missing the 50k mark in 2009. I want to prove I can write 50k in a month, so I’m adopting the goal. I’m going to blog 1700 per day for thirty days. Is that a lot, you ask? What does 1700 words look like? Glad you asked.

This post, right now, has 441. So, four times the length of this so far.

I can’t promise to be profound or witty. I have no idea what I’ll be posting. But, I will do my best to give you something. If you have an idea of something you’d like my research/opinion on, leave a comment.

So…bring it November!

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