I meant to write this post eight days ago, but I’ve been too busy writing something else: a novel. Well, a first draft, anyway. It’s part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short), an endeavour that’s been going on for the past ten years. During the month of November, participants are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. That’s 1667 words a day. 50,000 words is rather short for a novel, but it’s not peanuts!
Writing has always been my first and most beloved craft. Unfortunately, it’s the one that scares me the most. I can do all sorts of sewing, art, and craft projects, but when it comes to writing I balk. My laptop is home to half-novels and half-stories that have petered out when I’ve taken too long of a break and then not had the nerve to return to finish my work. Not this time. I’m in it for the 50,000 words, even if I don’t sleep all month. I’m going to get a full draft down, no matter how crappy it might be.
Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, wrote a book called No Plot? No Problem!, which I picked up a few months ago at the wonderful Willesden Bookshop. After reading it I decided I’d be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Getting to 50,000 words is going to be a tough challenge, but having to concentrate on writing for most of the days this month will make me focus and get it done. Some people have been participating for all 10 years, and some have ‘won’ every year (you’re a winner if you get to the 50,000 word mark). This year I’m going to win.
By the way, I’m not telling what my novel’s about. That’s classified for now!