(Image @ Lemon and Raspberry)
What you have planned for ________
What you have planned for this weekend, this month, this year. What you have planned for your house or the holidays or your blogging schedule. Or even, what you have planned for your as yet unborn children or your descendants.
November. Let’s talk about my plans for November. Why? Because I want to write a NaNoWriMo post and this is a fabulous reason to get to it.
(Image @ NaNoWriMo Store)
I think it’s pretty standard fair, especially in the blogging community, but for those of you who haven’t heard about, or participated in it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Dating back to 1999, this project challenges its participants to pen 50K words (the length of such works as: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Brave New World, and The Great Gatsby) between November 1st and 30th. Though it started in the USofA and is called the “national” novel writing month, NaNoWriMo is very much an international delight. Per Wikipedia, which can sum things up with much more panache than I: “the idea is that many people are scared to start writing because it won’t be any good, and if there’s a time to celebrate length, rather than quality, more people will write an entire first draft, which they can then proceed to edit if they wish.”
(Image found @ tumblr)
So, what do I have planned for November?
I am going to rock my first actual attempt at writing a “novel” in thirty days. I say “my first actual attempt,” because I publicly committed to this notion last year. Alas, few words were ever written. (Much akin to my failed 3DNC efforts.) This year will be different! This year I have the enthusiasm, motivation, idea and, maybe most importantly, time. I am going to use this maternity leave to help me achieve my biggest goal in life: to actually write.
Just over three years ago, I was struck with an idea. I was on a trip to Ontario with my parents to visit my extended family and was inspired to try to tell the story of a troubled sixteen-year-old girl who is sent away for a summer. Of course, there’s a lot more to it and summing it up so quickly makes it seem pretty trite and a lot cliché, but there it is. It is a very important piece to me, having haunted me for more than three years, and absolutely deserves a solid college try. (I have tried to write this story three times in the past and I have hated my starts each time. It will not best me this time.)
The actual goal.
While writing a “novel” in thirty days is an awesome goal and something I am certainly going to strive for, it’s not my End Game. What I actually want out of this is to set myself up with a writing routine. I want to sit down for at least fifteen minutes every day to write. Anything. I am absolutely excited about the idea of having a skeleton of a novel written, to finally flesh out and finish, but it is more important to establish myself as a writer. More important to actually sit and write. Often. Every day, if possible.
(Image found @ indulgy)
My plan for November is to rock NaNoWriMo. I am super excited to start seriously working on this story and I am really nervous that my tendency to be a dirty, rotten procrastinator will rear its exceptionally ugly head. (To combat this, I intend to tweet tirelessly about NaNoWriMo and to use stickers to mark my progress in John. Because stickers motivate children and Kims alike, and I love to annoy strangers via social media.)
What are your plans for November? Are you going to take the NaNoWriMo challenge? Do you prep before the event (with outlines and research), or do you fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best?
Because he is my favourite, I am going to leave you with the bones of Neil Gaiman’s NaNoWriMo ’07 pep talk: So keep on keeping on. Write another word and then another.
…if I make it, I’m totally buying this:
(Image @ NaNoWriMo Store)