Monday, November 8, 2010

November means NaNoWriMo

Okay, most of you know that I am a writer. I'm one of those crazy people that gets a thrill out of writing a descriptive scene with just the right amount of tension. I'm also well-aware of how the word count feature in Microsoft Word works and *YES!* I am a writerly nerd and I track my word count on an Excel spreadsheet.

So you're still wondering about the title of this blog post?
Let me explain...

I belong to some fantastic groups of writers who have a passion akin to mine and for the past three or four years I have observed my writer pals participate in a seemingly impossible quest called NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
The first couple years I heard about NaNo, I just thought there was no way that I could possibly do that. 50,000 words in 30 days???!!! I figured I'd have better luck running a 5K in 15 minutes.

For those of you unfamiliar with Word Count--my first suspense novel, Wrong NumberWrong Number, had over 72,000 words--that's a 198 page book people. So yeah, there are lots of books out there with lots and lots and lots of words!

So when I first heard about NaNoWriMo, I didn't think it was possible. That was before I gained more confidence in my writing abilities. The next year I had a newborn baby and just didn't think I could do it--again the confidence was a bit lacking.

Last year I was on a roll finishing up a literary novel--one whose characters haunted me night and day to finish their stories and I didn't want to stop my writing and revising stage to begin a new 50,000 word novel.

And this year?

Well I have another newborn baby and so when I saw all my buddies signing up for NaNo at first I thought, there's just no way that I can do this because I'll be nursing/caring for my infant roughly 8 hours a day (and in the middle of the night) and what about my other 3 kids?

But then that writing craziness kept bugging me and tempting me with visions of Excel spreadsheets accumulating word counts aggressively. Thoughts of finishing a novel by the end of the month were too much to resist after feeling like I was practically comatose in the last few months of my pregnancy and not having the energy to do anything!

So I enlisted for NaNoWriMo! I told my hubby that I just wanted to try for it, but later I confessed (something he already knew) that I don't do well with trying--I have to DO and so if I was going to sign up for this I was going to work hard to meet my goal and probably be pretty disappointed if I couldn't make it.
Well week one of NaNo is over and I hit 13,010 words and I am on a Word Count high right now!

I have the most amazing husband in the world who has rocked our sweet baby and helped me squeeze in the writing time I needed to make my goal. I am so excited about the progress I've made on my new novel, which is a follow-up to my first book, Wrong Number.

The best part about this NaNoWriMo challenge is that it helped me realize what I'm capable of as a determined writer and it has given me a good dose of motivation to keep up this daunting task of filling pages with words because I love to write. I realize that there is a good possibility that I may not be able to be a winner with 50,000 words in the NaNo challenge, but I'm going to DO my best.

I'm so grateful for wonderful friends that are cheering me on in this challenge and for my awesome family who continually supports me in everything I do. I'm grateful for challenges that show us the possibilities within that we were afraid to see.

I hope that if there is something you've been thinking about doing--maybe you haven't been able to dig up the courage and confidence to give it a shot yet--but I hope you go for it. Reach for the stars!

Are you doing NaNo? I'd love to hear about it! You can add me to your buddylist here.

You can see my progress on the cool little calendar gadget on my left sidebar.

And now back to the typing frenzy!


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