Challenge (to myself) accepted

I have taken on the challenge of NaNoWriMo again this year. For those unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo is shorthand for National Novel Writing Month. We are so busy writing that we don’t have time to say the whole thing. And it is a fun, nonsensical word to say over and over.

As the website describes it:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time last year. Like so many, I have wanted to be a writer for much of my life, but never took the plunge beyond school papers and four years of blogging. A close friend signed up last year and encouraged me to do the same. And I am better for it.

It was a struggle as detailed in previous posts, but at around noon on November 30, 2010, I had 50,213 words toward a novel that would eventually be titled, “Share the Road”. After more writing, and a few rounds of editing and revision, I am planning on self-publishing it by the end of the year.

Without the time crunch of the self-inflicted deadline, made to a website I had never heard of before, I may never have written anything of length. I am thankful for NaNoWriMo and all the tips and encouragement of the community. And to my friend that gave me the shove I needed.

I am a procrastinator. I need a deadline. 50,000 words in 30 days forces me to sit down in front of the computer, whether I am feeling creative or not. I am not as disciplined the rest of the year, but the month of frantic writing and the resulting novel was an exciting experience. As difficult as it is, I have enjoyed the rewrites, and I am proud to have written a novel. If it never happened again, I would have something to point to. And that would be great.

But I want it to happen again. To see if I can capture it again. To see if it was more than a fluke. To keep writing as a part of my life.

A new year, a new novel. I would love to keep that rhythm going for the rest of my life. And NaNoWriMo gives me the kick in the butt to sit my butt down and write.

It starts again tomorrow.

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