In my last post I mentioned how I had some writing news. That news is simply that I’m planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. NaNoWriMo, for any who don’t know, stands for National Novel Writing Month and is a challenge put forth to writers to complete an entire first draft of a novel of fifty thousand plus words during the month of November. It’s quite a challenge. It requires the writer to write a minimum of one thousand six hundred and sixty six (point six) words per day, if not more. For a professional writer that’s probably a fairly standard day, I’m guessing. However NaNoWriMo isn’t aimed at professional writers but novice ones. It’s expected that most people completing this challenge will also have a full time job, or a family, or at the very least a rabbit called Moriarty to look after (although maybe that’s just me). Basically, have a life that can’t stop while they attempt to smash out a novel in a month. Again, it’s quite a challenge.
For myself, that’s my situation. The job, the family, the rabbit. I am lucky enough to have a week off over November in order to celebrate my 30th birthday (November 20, mark your calendars) and spend some time with Brother Jonathan who will be back in the country as it’s also his birthday (because that’s how twins work), but I’m not planning to spend that whole week shunning my womb mate in order to write write write; and I will of course have to continue my full time job for the rest of the month. My point being that in order to complete this task I, and the rest of my NaNoWriMo brethren, are going to have to work hard and work smart. I’ll be honest, I’m excited but I’m also a little nervous. This is the writing equivalent of running a marathon. Throughout the year I’ve been getting better at writing more frequently and for longer periods. In other words I’ve been unknowingly training for this writing marathon. This doesn’t mean I think I’m going to win the race but hopefully it means I’ll be able to cross the finish line.
To do this I’ll need to be organised, motivated, and probably stock up on coffee and snacks. Luckily I’m not doing this alone. The NaNoWriMo site has a beautiful community of writers from all around the world offering blogs, videos, and forums to give advice, support, and encouragement. The site also offers writers to make an account and a summary of the novel they’re planning to write where they can connect with other people completing the challenge and even add them to their “buddy” list (for any wanting to add me to their buddy list my username is Damian.Robb because I’m not an abstract writer and also that is my name). Closer to home I also have a number of real life buddies who will be joining me on the frontline of this war of words. My writing group. They’ve all agreed to give it a go and we already have plans to have some writing days together throughout the month as well as an understanding that we’re allowed to send messages complaining how hard it is when it gets too much. I also have a supportive girlfriend who understands I’m likely to be more stressed and absent, and who’s ready to be a sounding board for ideas/updates/and whining. I’m a very lucky dude.
My main reason for participating in NaNoWriMo isn’t to finally write that great novel that’s going to take the world by storm. I don’t expect to write a good novel, or possibly even an okay one. Smashing it out in this way doesn’t exactly lend itself to good writing. But I do hope to get a nice amount of raw material that I can mould into something good over time. Clay to sculpt. Because that is what I’m hoping to get out of NaNoWriMo, to get myself to write more. As I said this level of content is likely normal behaviour for a professional writer and while I’m currently not a professional writer I one day want to be. So, in the mindset of dress for the job you want, I want to be able to complete the amount of content needed for the position. I’m definitely writing more than I was this time last year but now I’m ready to kick it up another notch. They say it takes three weeks to develop a habit, so I’m hoping that by the end of the month writing 2000+ words a day will be my new habit.
Finally, I also plan to keep this blog updated on my progress and potential descent into madness, so please stay tuned for that.
(P.S. this post was words eight hundred words so I just need to do that twice then add another four hundred words…everyday. Easy, right?)