National Novel Writing Month, also lovingly referred to as NaNoWriMo (for those who can’t pronounce it think: nano – rye – mo) has been part of my life since I discovered it during my Sophomore year of college in 2004. I immediately took to the challenge to create my own characters and write a non fan fiction novel. Inspired by Vanessa Carlton’s White Houses I wrote and completed that novel, “won” NaNoWriMo, uploaded it to Livejournal (no, I’m not linking you to that terribly written novel, nice try!) as I went and happily set it aside.
I have signed up almost every year since then. I have attempted to write a 50,000 word novel in most Novembers. Some years I have “won” (to win: you complete the challenge of writing the 50,000 words), others I gave up in days or weeks. There were some years I worked on rewrites and didn’t have anything original. Other years I was determined and faltered.
November is a busy month. The holidays are just beginning, autumn is in full swing and Thanksgiving comes up really fast. It’s also my birthday month. I’ve come to love November as a month of busyness, cool weather and writing, and so each year when I get the reminders about NaNoWriMo I dive in. Or at least I try to. I write blog posts about it, I try and seek out new writing friends and I stare in front of my computer for more time than I normally do.
This year is no different.
I’m well behind my word goal of 2000 words per day (In fact I’m at about 2600 for three days). I’m finding myself busy, because I don’t want to say no to certain things just because of words. I’m always finding myself busy, though, so that isn’t very new or different. I’m documenting my journey through my Instagram stories so be sure to add me on there. My writing has been more of an exploration than scenes. I still haven’t figured out what the plot is and I’m learning that’s my overall issue with writing anything. I can come up with characters and lives and overarching feelings and emotional changes, but I can’t figure out what actually happens to get my characters there.
It’s okay, though. I’ll figure it out. I’m determined.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in second grade. This was also the first time I was exposed to computers. It was 1991. We wrote in MS DOS on computers with green screens and even greener words. We wrote our own versions of children’s books we loved. I asked for a computer for Christmas when I was seven years old.
My relationship with writing has been a complicated one. It was lush and flourishing when I was younger, and I find that the older I am the more I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write. Years of writing classes and workshop combined with reading amazing novels has made me feel incapable. It’s all a mind game, though. And this is what’s driving me this year. Facing the mind game. Facing myself. Pushing through.
So I’m here, committed. I also want to write about this process. I want to get back into documenting and I’d like to help myself discover what it is that I have to say.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Tell me about your experience so far.