This year, I take on NaNoWriMo for the first time. I am in my final year of university, trying to find a job, applying for journalism diplomas and cooking all my own food. So maybe now isn’t the time. But that’s the point.
NaNoWriMo, if you didn’t know, is an annual writing challenge- to screw 50,000 words of novel out of your guts before the end of November. It is not supposed to be easy. In fact, it’s supposed to be rather tricky.
To complete NaNoWriMo then, in a year already quite jammed with challenges, would be an incredible achievement. The excitement has been unbelievable.
In the closing days of October, with my plot identified and a working title at hand (if rubbish), I was itching to get going. Never having done this before, I was desperate to begin as I had no idea how things were going to go once I got into November.
Was I going to forget everything? What if I couldn’t squeeze 50,000 words out of the idea I had? What if my idea was just plain rubbish?
Now it’s November. Got 2469 words down, and a long way to go. I’d love it if you wished me luck.
Day one was harder than expected, which sounds stupid considering it’s supposed to be a challenge. I guess I just looked at that first blank page for ages and willed it to write itself. By about half eleven, it was clear that it wasn’t going to happen and I was going to have to take the lid off my pen.
Where was all the enthusiasm I’d had in the closing days of October? All the brilliant ideas that had kept me awake at night?
They were hiding in my head. See, there’s just something about an empty notebook (or a new word document, for those of you who have accepted the trappings of the 20th century). It’s ready. It’s clean. The only thing a writer of capable of doing at this point is ruining it.
To kick off, I wrote: “NaNoWriMo 2012 – Vague Plot”.
Notebook happily ruined, I got on with it, and wrote nearly 2500 words on day one.
This challenge is a lovely idea, but I might be irritable, inkstained and reclusive for the next four weeks. And then triumphant. Very triumphant.
I have a confession. I’m not actually aiming for 50,000 words. 50,000 words isn’t technically a novel. I’m aiming for 60,000 words. At this rate, I’ll be done on the 25th.