42,222 to go.
Chipping away at the block, one word at a time.
I wanted to talk about why I’m doing NaNo.
Because initially, I had talked myself out of writing this year. My friend Jenn is the one who convinced me to try it again, and she has been a great encouragement thus far.
But why NaNoWriMo? What convinced me to try it last year? Why was I so easily persuaded to try it this year?
A multitude of reasons. One, I’ve always wanted to write a novel. And publish a novel. In fact, it’s pretty high up there on my bucket list. But that’s what everyone says, right? Everyone wants to write a novel.
How many of those people actually do?
I’ve never completed one. Does that come as a surprise, I wonder? As much as I write, and as much as I’m in love with words and writing, I have never completed a novel. I’ve gotten pretty close with last year’s NaNo project–still unofficially titled “The Dead Dream”–and surpassed 50,000 words, but it is still sitting in the archives of my computer, fragmented and incomplete.
That’s one reason why I’m doing this–to switch to a new story, in hopes to have new inspiration for The Dead Dream, which I have literally been working on for five years.
It also, surprisingly, helps me manage my time better. I get my homework done long before it’s due because I know I will have limited time to do it. I sacrifice naps to get extra words in. I lay Pinterest and Netflix aside and actually do something. And I get to reward myself later with peanut butter cups.
Another reason: my head is constantly filled with stories and ideas and characters and the events that shape their fictional lives, and I mull over them and greet them kindly every day, but I find it hard to actually write all of it down. But that’s what NaNo is all about–to not worry about perfection, editing, or anything. It’s about getting your story out. In words. On paper. (or virtual paper).
And I’m so surprised by how much more I discover about those stories and characters and events and backgrounds and settings just by writing, not planning.
My plot changes–I discover holes along the road, and several detours between point A and B. Minor characters become main characters. Archenemies become cousins. Characters get yelled at by angry florists. The elderly are exterminated and a boy makes a rickshaw out a wheelchair and a hospital bed.
And my story gets written.