NaNoWriMo starts on Saturday

October 29, 2014 writing 24

NaNoWriMo crest
I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I was just going to keep it a secret and maybe admit to it if I finished. But the NaNoWriMo folks urge you to tell people so you feel accountable. And so they know why you’ve dropped out of sight for a month.  So. . .

I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year.

I’m absolutely terrified. I have a fair bit of backstory figured out and some vague ideas of scenes, but I feel totally unprepared.  And while I’ve dreamed of writing for years, I haven’t written any fiction in decades. But I’m doing NaNoWriMo.

I might not “win” (by which they mean completing 50,ooo words in a month), because it’s a lot of words, and I’ve never done this before. And because I won’t have much time for writing until after Nov. 10, which is a huge disadvantage. But I’m doing NaNoWriMo.

I don’t expect what I write to be very good – I’m basically a beginner when it comes to writing fiction. In fact, the fear of not being any good is what has held me back all these years. I somehow wanted the novel complete in my head before I write it down, the way Mozart is said to have composed. Well, I’m not Mozart. So I’m taking Shannon Hale as my inspiration: Writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” I’m giving myself permission to be absolutely horrible at this. Because getting something down on paper beats having bits and pieces of it in my head for years, and never giving it a chance to become a book. So. . .

I’m doing NaNoWriMo.

Wish me luck.

24 Responses to “NaNoWriMo starts on Saturday”

  1. Elisa @ Leopards and Dragons

    In a fit of insanity, I did too. I just haven’t admitted it on my blog yet. I am supposed to be working on a journal article and a conference presentation. So what did I do but sign up for the first time to try writing fiction. I have decided that I can allow myself the hour or so that I would usually spend writing blog posts to write a story. Eek !
    Elisa @ Leopards and Dragons recently posted…Colors of BloodMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Best of luck! “Eek” is about how I feel, too – that and the “fit of insanity” bit. But life is meant to be lived, not just dreamed, right?!

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Well… challenging, anyway. Hopefully fun! 🙂 Like I said to Lianne, if you’d like to be writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo site, email me your name on there and I’ll email you mine! (My email is on my about-me page.)

      • Elisa @ Leopards and Dragons

        That would we lovely! I have just attempted to send email. I haven’t figured out how to do much on the NaNoWriMo site yet. I am frantically trying to get my proposal fired off in the next day or so – trying to clear the decks for writing.
        Elisa @ Leopards and Dragons recently posted…Me too.My Profile

        • Lark_Bookwyrm

          Good luck, and I’ll watch for your email! I’m trying to clear the decks, too – I’ve got to get these indexes out the door. I’ll still have some in November, but hopefully less demanding.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Thank you for the support, Bea! My daughter Robin did it last year, but she’s been writing since 6th or 7th grade (and she’s really good. That’s not just Mom saying so; it’s other people, too.) Still, if she can do it while keeping up with her college classes, surely I can at least make a good attempt?

      As for the “don’t edit”, that will be one of the toughest things for me, but I know it’s what I have to do. No editing, no cleaning up spelling or punctuation or rewriting a sentence until it’s just right. And if I get stuck, pick a different scene and keep going. Eep.

  2. Rita @ My Home of Books

    Love this!! Much good luck to you. I am going to check it out and see if it is something I want to do by the seat of my pants. I’ve heard that that style of participating is okay as long as you get the word count.
    Again, good luck and have fun with it!
    Rita @ My Home of Books recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up 10/31/14-1/3/14My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      The whole point of NaNoWriMo seems to be to get words down on paper (or onscreen, or whatever.) Don’t worry about quality; you can fix a badly-written draft but you can’t fix no draft at all. The deadline is supposed to force you to turn off your internal editor. Shannon Hale talks about a first draft as shoveling sand so she can build castles later. That’s how I’m trying to think of it.