Two years ago I first heard about the program called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November, with support from others who are doing the same. I found the website, signed up, and then promptly realized there was no way I could add anything more to my already brimming November plate.
Vicki Doudera here. What a difference two years makes!
In early October of this year I was invited to speak at Vose Library in Union, and the librarian there asked me if I’d ever done NaNoWriMo. I admitted that I had not, but since she had, I asked her to describe the experience for the audience. Lo and behold, a tiny seed was planted in your blogger’s brain.
A week later, I received an email about NaNoWriMo. Suddenly it dawned on me: THIS was the year! Yes, I could actually try to devote a month to writing a book. Here’s why:
Reason #1: As you already know, I’m a new empty nester. My “last to fly the coop” is daughter Lexi, happily ensconced in Red Sox-winning Boston and studying Marine Bio. No longer am I running to soccer games, helping with college applications, or listening to her tell me about her weekend plans. It’s heartbreaking, BUT I’m putting on my happy face and picking up my pen.
Reason #2: I’ve had an incredibly busy year selling real estate, but the pace has finally slowed somewhat. My hectic summer meant that I did not get in much writing time, and I’m itching to devote several hours every day.
Reason #3: Other than Thanksgiving, my calendar for the month is on the empty side. I’m not going to Crime Bake (I’ll miss those of you that do attend!) nor am I teaching a writing course at the National Association of Realtors convention in San Francisco. Now I know why! THIS IS MY MONTH TO GIVE THIS CRAZY IDEA A TRY.
So far — so good. I spent some time before November 1st outlining my story and getting my new office up to speed. (I needed blinds, for instance, and a small heater.) I decided I would write at least 2000 words a day, and I’m doing fine keeping to that schedule.
I told those around me – including my husband, mother, and friends – that I was taking on the NaNoWriMo Challenge. I even asked my boss at Camden Real Estate to keep me off the duty schedule for November.
Finally – I signed up once more on the National Novel Writing Month website. I’ve read through the supportive emails, and even went to a kick-off meeting of other midcoast WriMos.They gave me a cool sticker which I put by my computer.
I know I have an advantage over other newbies, in that I’ve already written comple
te books – six, to be exact – and fortunately all have been published. But can I write a complete book in one month? (Actually – 28 days. I want to finish before Thanksgiving.)
We’ll see! Stay tuned for my next post on my efforts on November 19th.
In the meantime – have any of you ever tried NaNoWriMo? Have you ever thought about it?
Wishing you good luck!
Thank you, Gram!
Vicki, Good luck with this! I’ve done it twice and think I’ll plan on doing it again next November. It’s really different to do “obsessive” writing. I found that words were flowing and characters were doing unexpected things and it was important to just sit back and let it all happen and to see where the book was going.
Keep us posted as the month rolls along.
Wow, as usual you’ve hit it on the head, Kate — obsessive writing. I am so enjoying that!!! I almost feel like I am in my daughter’s shoes, back in college.
In trying to discover what I really “love” to do, I’m realizing it is this…making the time and getting the work done. I’m lucky to have this reminder.
Thanks for your perspective.
I did it for the first time last November. Took an idea that had been brewing in my brain for 7 years and was able to go over the 50,000 word threshold. It was a real rush to do it after thinking about it and shying away for several years. Best of luck!
Thanks, John! What happened with that NaNoWriMo book?
Hope it’s OK for newbies to chime in on this site? I’m right in there with you, less than a week in but still putting in the daily word count. I did NanoWriMo about four years ago and finished, then tried again two years ago and copped out in week three. Now my daughter is six years old and there’s a chance (correction: a need) to make this happen. Like you, I’ve got the day job, but I’m inspired by the fact that you’ve completed so many novels and still face the challenges of a new project. I’d love to see more posts from you as the month goes on!
thanks for your nice words! I will be posting again on the 19th, but happy to talk (email, etc!!) with you about it anytime. And YES we love newbies, oldbies, anybodies….
You’re right — for me the challenge is in a) working with a different genre (I’m not writing a mystery for NaNo) and b) setting a 2000 word goal for everyday. Also — in “owning up” to my day job that I’m doing this. It wouldn’t fly in the summer but November is ideal. I’m really enjoying it all much more than I imagined. Maybe next year we will be doing it together.
oops — rereading your post and seeing that you ARE doing it this year. Good for you. If you are in Maine, maybe we can get together for coffee. I live in Camden.
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