Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's almost that time my friends, NaNoWriMo will begin in just three more weeks. :)

What is NaNoWriMo? You mean besides a really awkward word to have to spell?

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. That's right. There's a month set aside for everything now.

November is the month. Writing is the goal. A Novel. In 30 DAYS!

Actually, the goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. Technically, in publishing terms, this would be more of a novella than a full length novel, but it doesn't make it any less daunting or intimidating, at least to me, since I've never done this before.

But I've been expanding my horizons these days. No longer do I simply write within the cozy comfortable confines of my own home, to remain secure and safe in ignorance of the real writing world.

I have torn that gauzy veil from my face and sent out query letters and partials of my work to agents and publishers. I have joined a formal writer's group that meets every month, taken a bunch of writing workshops to hone my skills, and I have gotten myself a critique partner who is fabulous, not only as a writer and editor of my work, but as a new friend.

NaNoWriMo is just another of these daring adventures. Because of the short time frame alloted, I'm thankful that the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity.

Quality be damned.

At the same time, this will force me to lower my usually high expectations, to take risks that I wouldn't normally, and write without editing. Honestly, that's going to be the hardest part. I'm that person. The one who will write a page and go over it. Write another page, go over it.

I think I'll be writing a lot of crap.

I'm getting nervous already. Just thinking about it!

I don't even have a story mapped out yet!

There's a niggly little idea floating around in my head, though and I think I'll use the rest of October to flesh it out so that I can draw up a bit of an outline.

It is very intimidating to think that I will commit myself to this challenge. I had to make sure to ask my family first if they were going to be okay with it, since my husband won't have a wife, and my son won't have a mother, for a month. I won't be watching House or Bones or CSI. I won't be going shopping, or attending family functions. I won't be helping to rake all of the leaves that are starting to litter my yard (oh darn!).

I love my family so much. They completely understand and still want me to go for it. I can't believe how supportive they always are.

I will draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other writers will be going through the same thing. The same trials and challenges as they work to write the "Great Frantic Novel" (in the words of the NaNo moderators). There will be support groups for me, people to meet from my area who are taking the challenge as well, and a big celebration at the end.

In 2006, there were apparently over 79,000 participants, with almost 13,000 of them crossing the 50k finish line by the deadline. This year, I plan to be one of them.

Wish me luck!!