Today I want to share my NaNoWriMo plans. One of my major goals for 2017 is to write as much as I can. I wanted to complete my memoir about my 11 years in New Zealand, I wanted to start a blog and I want to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
If you haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo – it’s a month long challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during November. Spread across the 30 days it averages 1,667 words a day. It’s a big challenge and it’s designed to get you moving. Leave procrastination, self doubt and any crippling fears about your writing at the door and just get on with it.
My first experience with NaNoWriMo was back in 2007
I was in my mid twenties and living in Palmerston North, New Zealand. I worked full time and was engaged. Amazingly I managed to write a 50,000 word romance novel set in New Zealand. I printed and bound my very rough draft and had great plans to edit it but it wasn’t to be. I still have it somewhere.
Even though I didn’t take that novel any further I still found it a very worthwhile experience. For starters I proved to myself that I could write that many words in a month. And I sat down at the computer each day to write. Even when I doubted the quality of my writing – I didn’t let it stop me – I kept going. I learnt that characters really can come alive as you write their story and they can lead you down a very different path. And I realised how much I loved having written. It felt good to be writing. I was so proud of myself when I did my final submission of words on 30th November 2007 and saw my Winner’s certificate!
A few weeks later we were setting off on a 5 week travelling adventure – I got busy with preparation for our trip and then with the trip itself and by the time we got home and over the jetlag and back into daily routine my novel lay forgotten.
I’ve made tentative NaNoWriMo plans to join in several times since that first experience and have even started a couple of times but 2007 is the only year I completed the challenge.
NaNoWriMo is one of those things that I am confronted with each year…I wistfully remember that hard slog of getting those 50,000 words out with my rose tinted glasses…and I wonder if I should give it a go. The timing hasn’t always worked. Life has changed…I’ve gained a husband and a little boy and moved halfway back across the world since 2007.
But when sitting down to figure out what I wanted my goals to look like this year I came back to the NaNoWriMo idea. November was a long way off back then. I knew I wanted to work as hard as I could to develop my writing skills. It felt right to list it as a goal for later in the year.
How I’m Preparing
As October rolled around I logged into the NaNoWriMo site and updated by profile. I joined the local group on Facebook and hope to meet some fellow NaNos face to face by the end of November! I tuned in to a webcast by the NaNoWriMo official team. They talked through some exercises which really helped the ideas to start flowing.
I’ve given my story a fair bit of thought. I bought a whiteboard and post-its and created a list of things I know about my story and questions I had. I wouldn’t say I have a full synopsis but it’s a start!
Can I do it?
As the time has edged closer to the start of November I’ve started second guessing myself.
- Will I have time?
- Can I do it?
- Can I fit it around everything else I have going on?
- Is it fair to my family?
- What about getting ready for Christmas?
- How does it fit with my other goals?
- Is my idea crap?
- What if I write myself out and never want to write again?
- What if I fail at NaNoWriMo when I’ve declared my intent on my blog?
I’ve managed to talk myself back around. So what if I fail? At least I will have tried! And if I declare my intent I am less likely to give up! I love some outer accountability (more on that coming up in November!).
So I’m here – poised with a half baked story idea and no idea where it’s going to lead me. One of the ways I Find the Good Everyday is to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone. Attempting to write a 50k novel in 30 days is a way I can do that while working on my goal of becoming a better writer.
I am hoping that on this 10th anniversary of my first NaNoWriMo effort and only completion that I will finally be able to win again!
Here’s to a novel filled November 2017!
If you are have NaNoWriMo plans this year or have attempted it in the past I would love to hear from you – please leave a comment or drop me a line!