Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

To NaNo or Not To NaNo

I have until Friday to decide whether to do NaNoWriMo.

I’ve always been an enthusiastic supporter of National Novel Writing Month. I participated almost every year since I was a sophomore in college, “winning” (ie. Making the goal of 50,000 words in one month) for 8 of those years, and it was through NaNoWriMo that I ended up with first drafts of my first novels, both my objectively terrible early attempts and the two wonderful story-children that I am currently editing to get ready for publication. The last few years, with much of my time taken up with caring for my mom, I’ve been able to do little more than a little fundraising, not really actively writing as a participant.

And now Mom’s gone. The grief is occasionally paralyzing, and November is going to be a hard month: It’s her birthday and the beginning of the holiday season. I suspect I may need something like NaNo to focus on as a distraction to get through it all, and it’s always been a help when I’ve needed to re-establish a writing discipline after a lapse, which I need to do now. A new draft, a new story, might be just the thing I need.

That said, I am in the middle of editing This Ain’t No Fairy Story, which, of the two completed novels I have sitting on my hard drive, is the one that is most my baby, the one that I feel has the most potential and the one that my beta readers have loved almost universally. I can always participate as a NaNo rebel, editing TANFS instead of writing something new but . . .

New stories are a siren’s call, and it’s been a while since I’ve heeded it. It’s a little terrifying to be going into NaNo without even the faintest idea of what I’m going to write about but . . . that’s exactly what I did the year I started TANFS, and I came out of the month with a draft of one of the best things I’ve ever written.

Should I decide on Friday to pick up my pen and try to draft something without much more than a faint niggling of an idea, you can find me on the NaNo website at – Feel free to make me your writing buddy.

Who knows, maybe an old NaNo veteran can even give some tips and tricks throughout the month, too. We’ll see how it goes.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash