NaNoWriMo 2017 IS HERE!!!
If you know me, or have followed this blog over the last few years, then you likely know that National Novel Writing Month, or, Nanowrimo, is one of my most favorite things.
For those of you who don't know, Nano is a virtual community of something like 500,000 people that commits to writing an entire novel, or at least 50,000 words of one, in the 30 days of November. You can learn more about it at nanowrimo.org.
This will be my fifth year participating in Nano-- which kind of shocks me! Four years ago today I began my first attempt at writing a novel. I only finished 20,000 words that year, but that experience helped me develop a regular writing practice; it inspired me to find a writer's group; and it was the beginning of (finally) following my dream of being a writer. (That's a pretty big deal.) In all three years since my first try, I have made it to the 50,000 word finish line. And since that first day, I have written four novels.
Over the next 30 days, I plan to make that five.
I am so excited to begin. I've spent the last eleven months working on revisions to previous Nano novels-- and there's still A LOT more work to do on them. For me, unlike many other novelists that I have read about, revising can feel a bit like slogging through swamplands, and at times it can get overwhelming. So, getting to create a story--an entire world-- from scratch again sounds so refreshing right now.
For me, Nano brings passion and community and challenge and this strange sense of chaotic peace that is so hard to describe. During Nano, lots of other things in my life may seem stressful, but the writing rarely does. During Nano, lots of other things in my life fall by the wayside in this beautiful, life affirming way...maybe not for the other people in my life who are expecting me to continue to fulfill my list of duties like a good mom/wife/homeowner/friend/citizen....but for me it is this brief snapshot of how I probably should be living life every day. It forces priorities that are probably closer to the truth. My truth, at least.
And Nano is hopeful.
Who knows if I'll ever get one of these books published? I can't say for certain. But during the month of November, I am hopeful. I am hopeful and I am a writer. A real one.
I savor that. It's a good feeling.
One last thing before I go. This Nano is extra special for me because two people are joining me in it for the first time. My wonderful writer-niece, Katie, and my super-awesome daughter, Portia. Katie's a junior in college, so she, like me, is going after the big prize of 50,000 words (mind you, she's already written multiple novels). Portia, who's 8, signed up for Nano's Young Writer's Program and is planning to write a book of short stories this month. This warms my little writer's heart.
So, cheer us on, good friends! Send us good vibes and good mojo and lots of coffee (hot chocolate for Portia...extra marshmallows)!
And if you're also a writer, consider hopping onto Nano, too-- or at least set a goal for yourself and do some writing. If you're not a writer, support our endeavors by reading a good book or doing some journaling...or just making some progress in the pursuit of your own amazing dreams.
Until next time, write on, my friends...write on!
(I'm off to pursue a word count goal!)