Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days to 50K: The Beginning

As many of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month, more commonly known as NaNoWriMo. Each year thousands of authors around the world take part in the challenge to pen 50,000 words in 30 days.

This month Dee and myself (Nikki) have chosen to take on the challenge, and share our experiences along the way with YWW? readers. We'll be checking in here each week, talking about our progress, the ups and downs of the challenge, and perhaps even sharing some excerpts from our work. Essentially, YWW? will be our writing journal for the next 30 days.

We hope readers can enjoy walking along this path with us and getting a glimpse at the way the mind of a writer sometimes works.

Without further ado....


November 1, 2012 – 6:00am

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo.

This year, I’m gonna make NaNoWriMo my bitch.

Please pardon my French, but this blog post is supposed to be about my reactions to the month long
basket of crazy that is NaNoWriMo – and this is exactly what I thought. All of our posts this month will
be like that – honest honest reactions to what this journey is like – really like. The highs and lows, the
successes (which I hope are many) and the failures (which I pray are few). Taking on the beast that is
NaNoWriMo is a hard thing, definitely not for the faint of heart. But for those of us who have decided to
take the plunge, the payoffs far outweigh the risks.

NaNoWriMo, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is an acronym for ‘National Novel Writers Month’
and, true to its name, it is a national event where writers attempt to do the impossible – write a novel
(or 50,000 words) in 30 days. Sounds crazy right?

That’s because it is.

There are a million reasons why someone would be nuts enough to give it a shot: developing the
discipline of writing everyday – giving themselves a daily writing goal and working hard to achieve
it, forcing themselves to move past their inner critic long enough to put pen to paper (or fingers to
keyboard) and pull the stories rattling around in their heads into reality and, for some, just to be able
to say they did it. Whatever the reason for taking the journey, those of us who join in the fray, rushing
toward the 50k marker, start out with the brightest of hopes and pray that we’ll make it.

So today I begin. I’m not alone in this journey – which makes it a bit easier. At the moment my heart
is filled with the hope that when midnight rolls around on November 30 th I’ll be able to count myself
among the winners. Yep, I’m feeling pumped, encouraged, unbeatable – like some punk rock, ninja
warrior bent on world domination –using plot structure and character development instead of
numchucks and poisoned daggers. I feel like a winner – let’s hope that feeling stays.

Cuz this year – I’m making NaNoWriMo my bitch.

November 1, 2012

My life is pretty much insane. I like to think of it as a big state of organized chaos, as most of it is self-imposed. Don't believe me? Let me elaborate: I work 40+ hours a week as a supervisor in social services. I intern at a crisis shelter for 25 hours a week as part of finishing my Master's Degree. I also have about four WIPs in the fan fiction world, write for, and have a  life that somehow manages to get balanced in there.

So how the hell am I going to fit in writing a 50K novel? The answer: I have no freaking clue.

Every year I take the NaNoWriMo journey, and every year so far I've fallen short. Lack of time wasn't an issue in past years, but lack of motivation and an overwhelming case of writer's block always managed to slow me down or put my writing to a halt. This year, the plot bunnies are dancing and although time is scarce, the motivation is there because my goal is to be a published author by the end of 2013.

The goal for NaNo is to get to 50K words by the end of November. Of course I also strive to hit that number, but my own personal goal for the month is to produce as much quality writing as I can given the demands of life. I might not hit 50K, but I’m okay with that.

Most people would have a general idea of what they’re planning on writing when they start NaNo. I don’t this time around. I’ve decided to let my mind take me where it wants to go, and as the story starts to shape up, I’ll post my novel information and begin to post my chapters. I’ve always been one for structure in my day-to-day life, but when it comes to writing I just can’t do it. I would struggle with an outline, I’d feel like I was cheating my characters if I didn’t let them guide me down the path of the story, and I would feel like I was limiting myself and my creative abilities. Obviously a lot of writers use these when drafting their creations, but for me, it just doesn’t work.

So, here I go! I’m venturing down a well-beaten path in hopes of coming out on the other side with the start of what could eventually become my first published piece of literature.

Welcome to NaNo season! Cheers to it!



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