Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why NaNoWriMo?

For many, the thought of writing a novel in just one month is really and truly daunting. For me, it seemed like it would be the only way I could force the story out of my head and ensure I didn't hold onto it forever. I knew that if I was ever going to write a book - I needed to do it fast and furiously.

I first heard about National Novel Writing Month a few years ago - probably around 2006. The whole thought of writing 50,000 words in just 30 days scared the crap out of me and I tried to push the very concept to the very back of my mind where it would preferably never surface again. Then in 2008, I was wandering around my computer to migrate some files over to another hard drive and I came across a manuscript I started in 2003. It was only a few pages long and was a true testament to my writing procrastination. Around August of that year, I started to think maybe I should give that month long novel thing a try. Of course, as the tale goes, I suddenly found myself pregnant and was not feeling so hot by the time November arrived so I never got any further than registering at the NaNoWriMo website and then I abandoned it before I could begin.

In 2009, through a brain that was well fogged by the first 5 months of caring for twinfants, I knew there was no way I could commit the time necessary. Once again, there was no novel coming out of me that year either.

Fast forward a year to 2010 and I had just spent months and months immersed in my online social networks, fundraising my ass off for Team in Training. I used every tool I could to drum up money or rounding up attendees for events or holding contests and raffles. By early summer, I was burnt out on Facebook. I wanted to quit it so badly, but I knew I couldn't until I was done in San Francisco and had thanked everyone once and for all for helping along on my journey. Unfortunately, I had several months ahead of me where I felt like I needed to check in constantly so I wouldn't happen to miss out on something someone said or suggested. It was becoming exceedingly unhealthy as each day passed. Finally back from California, I drafted up a letter of resignation and posted it on my FB profile. I gave people my contact info and told them I was returning to the land of the living and if they wanted to spend time with me there, they were more than welcome to contact me..but I wasn't going to find myself trapped in the time sucking void any longer.

Now, with the roughly 5 hours a day I had been finding myself lost on there, I needed to find something to do on my computer that could use the time and distract me from the fact that I had deleted my account and wasn't returning. It was the perfect opportunity to get my book out of my head!

On November 1, I put the twins down for their nap and sat down at my computer. I had originally thought I would just add to the existing manuscript (though it is kind of a no-no in nanoland to do that). In a last minute decision, I created a new folder on my computer and then started to type an entirely new book, using the title of the original one for my starting point.

Now, 21 days into the challenge, I have no doubt that I can finish the book in the time allotted. I have 36,595 words written and 9 days to go. Is the book a best seller? Not yet. It's still kind of a flaming ball of crap in serious need of some major editing. It might never top the bestseller lists, but I already know it is the kind of book I would like to read. Often when I am writing and I stop for the day, I find myself anxious to return to my computer so I can read how the story ends. It is exciting that way. And who knows...maybe in a few years you will walk into a bookstore and see "The Loracian Stone" by C.A. Nicholls on the shelves there. I hope it'd be the kind of book people will want to read but only time will tell. All I know is that when November wraps up, I will have the base to start working with and to see if I can actually turn it into something fantastic!

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