Saturday, October 25, 2014

Just do it - NaNoWriMo

Every so often, I make an impulsive decision to do something big and outrageous and potentially humiliating if I fail. Two years ago it was running a marathon. I trained for six months and completed the marathon just slightly slower than my goal time (oddly enough, the marathon was also in November). Happy and proud, I finally considered myself a "real" runner. (Please don't ask me if I'm still running regularly.)

I trained and ran the marathon as a way to show myself I could commit to a project for the long haul. It was a test of my novel-writing mettle. Except I haven't gotten around to that novel until now. NaNoWriMo is a venue for writers of all ilks to publicly commit to writing 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30.

I have already amassed a folder full of notes about this novel that I'm tentatively calling Children of Light. I'm afraid that sounds too pretentious. But NaNoWriMo isn't about the editor brain, it's about the creator brainthe uncritical, friendly, encouraging voice telling you to just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing.

Hopefully, when November's over, I will still want to keep writing. Depending on how NaNo goes, I may deposit this novel in a special folder for first novels (every published novelist has a real first novel that's never seen the light of day) and move on to more short stories or another novel. Or I may keep working on it and trying to get it into decent shape. My goal for NaNoWriMo is just to generate material. I don't even have an order that I know things will happen in. Just a bunch of scene ideas and character sketches.

I have one week before the madness begins. To make it to 50,000 words before visiting with family, I have to write an average of 1,852 words a day. I think of myself as a slow writer, so this is going to be the challenge for me. Turn off the editor brain. Turn off the critic. Just go with the flow. Just do it! Wish me luck!


  1. I know you can do whatever you set your mind to.
    Love U

  2. Good luck, Sarah! I'll be cheering for you!

  3. If you look at last fall as a four-month challenge to donate/trash/pack everything you own, clean/refurbish/stage/sell a house, and move your cat-family three thousand miles away to a place where you don't yet have long term housing or employment, I think you can consider this your third annual BHAG. And so far, you're 2-for-2!