I started writing stories when I was about seven. I remember using my dad’s old word processor. It was a huge machine with a green screen and was basically a mixture between a computer and a typewriter. This was way before we owned a computer.
(Similar to what I used.)
I would write stories that I thought were BRILLIANT about my friends who lived down the street from me. Or about an episode of Saved by the Bell. The next great novelist, clearly. And then when I was around nine or ten, we got a computer and I continued to write stories. I remember writing one about a mother trying to protect her children from a tornado. I was pretty proud of that story, but way too shy to let anyone read it. Not even my own family members.
I still write occasionally. But not as much as I’d like to. I definitely have ideas for stories and I’d love to dedicate time to those stories, but life always gets in the way. And when life doesn’t get in the way, my own self-editor gets in the way and I get hung up on the “proper” way to write or I question whether there is a BETTER way to write that scene. It’s very tiring.
That’s where NaNoWriMo comes into the picture. I’ve wanted to participate in this for years. If you’ve never heard of it, well, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s essentially a call-to-action for anyone who’s ever wanted to write a novel. It challenges you to write your heart out for the month of November. And that’s it. Turn off your self-editor and JUST WRITE. The goal is to write 50,000 words by the end of November and you can write in a notebook or on the computer. It doesn’t matter. The NaNoWriMo website just requires you to plug in your word count so you can track your results.
I intend to participate this year. Even though the month of November is going to be very, very busy. And blogging is really my main priority right now. I want to at least TRY…and I totally just thought of Yoda. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
I do know of one sort-of success story of a published author who participated in NaNoWriMo. Erin Morgenstern (author of The Night Circus) didn’t actually write her story with NaNoWriMo, but she did use it to flesh out all of her circus ideas. She was attempting to write a novel that month, but grew bored with her story and sent her characters to the circus instead. After that she used her time to gather information on circuses and built her story through writing for NaNoWriMo. Others may see that as “cheating” since she didn’t technically write a novel, but I think it’s amazing. NaNoWriMo helped get her creative juices flowing and a lovely novel was born. And isn’t that the true point of it all?So will any of you be participating this year? Will you go the way of yoda and “Do. Or do not. There is no try”? Or will you go the way of Erin Morgenstern and use it as a way to research and flesh out ideas? They do have a section for writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo website, so if you’re participating this year feel free to add me!
Pastel Carousel on NaNoWriMo.
Good luck to everyone participating! November 1st is just around the corner!