Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Here we are in November again, and that means NaNoWriMo. I always look forward to this time of year. Of course, it's time for Thanksgiving, being together with family and eating until you can't move. Too, once Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is just around the corner. Then again, time with family, eating wondrous meals, sharing gifts, and looking forward to the new year and lots of new beginnings.
There is also that terrific event that occurs each November, and that is National Novel Writing Month. I have participated for years now, and will continue. Thirty days to write 50,000 words? Is it stressful and do you end up putting a great deal of pressure on yourself? Definitely. Is it an incredibly enjoyable way to push yourself into creating something you may not have created otherwise simply because of the timeline factor? Absolutely.
NaNoWriMo is time-consuming and requires dedication and a lot of work. But there is nothing negative about the experience. It's a personal challenge that is so fulfilling at the end of the month when you look back at what you've created. This novel you've written does require major editing since during NaNo time, you only write. And write. And write. There's an editing event through NaNo too, but I've never tried my hand at that one. Not yet, anyway.
One of the novels I wrote during NaNo was able to be divided into a six-part children's/young adult's fantasy series, Choices, which I had published. I'm currently in the process of completing the editing process on another one of my NaNo projects, and it will be ready to send to my publisher in the very near future. There is another that requires completion, and of course, major editing, that was a NaNo project and then, we have the one I am currently writing. Do I take NaNo seriously and follow through on all my projects? You bet I do.
My point being, while NaNo is a wonderful experience and as far as I'm concerned, great fun, great things have occurred for me as a writer as a result of my participation. Not only has my work been published, but writing 'with abandon' I believe has helped me to be a better writer. The first time through, while I am mindful of sequencing, spelling, grammar and all the basics, I'm not obsessed with those things. My obsession is directed at the story, the characters, and continuously moving it forward. Isn't that where a writer's focus should be directed?
I would encourage anyone, regardless of where you're at as a writer, to participate in NaNo. It's interesting, fun, and it makes you crazy for 30 days, and you'll be so glad when November is done. You will be holding in your hand a creation of yours. Perhaps not complete, perhaps a grammatical nightmare, but there's plenty of time to go back and fix.
Use November to simply write. Give it all you've got, and when you're done, be very proud of yourself and treat yourself to some reward. Go to a nice restaurant and have your favorite dinner. Buy yourself that outfit you've been admiring in the store window. Order that season's worth of DVDs of that television show you watch every time it comes on. Pat yourself on the back and award yourself a prize. You've earned it!