November marks the start of National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words throughout the month of November.
This year marks the first year I will actually participate in NaNoWriMo since I first heard about it four-some years ago, and I’m terrified. I started writing on November 9th, but the late start won’t stop me from trying. I have written one unpublished novel that has been buried in the depths of my basement or sent to the land of lost valuables (it was written in several notebooks). I was quite pleased with the book I had written, though it did take me one summer of almost nonstop writing.
However, I’m terrified to try writing fiction again because I have difficulty finishing one short story. Every week, tons of ideas flow through my mind. Some I write down, some I forget before I can find somewhere to write it. Others, I try to start, but I can never get the idea to become fully-fleshed.
I think I’ve been waiting on a J.K. Rowling moment, where a character strolls into my head, fully-formed and ready to be committed to paper. I’ve decided that now isn’t the time to wait, so I will use NaNoWriMo to start me on my way to writing again. Perfectionist, though I am, I will not let that stop me from attempting to reach the 50,000 word goal.
After five days half-dedicated to writing, I am nearing 11,000 words. I have accepted that I may not finish the novel by the end of the month, but I’ve found that the more I write, the easier it is to develop my ideas further. Maybe the concrete nature of writing helps to develop my ideas, and I’m able to flesh them out more once I write them down. Maybe a J.K. Rowling moment isn’t what I needed. Maybe I just needed to start writing.