November, with NaNoWriMo, is a ready-made time to get some words on the page. Thousands of other people are writing at the same time, there is a tool to track your progress, and there are dozens of individuals, both on the NaNo site and on their own blogs, who are offering advice and encouragement. As a plus, it’s getting dark earlier and earlier these days, making curling up with a good story (your own, of course), an appealing choice.
Last year, there were 431,626 official NaNoWriMo participants, and since its inception, there have been over 250 traditionally published NaNoWriMo novels plus an unknown number of non-traditionally published ones.
Last week, once I realized that November was right around the corner, I dug out my old NaNo user name and password, logged on to the site, reconnected with my NaNo Writing Buddies, and got my author dashboard ready to go. This year’s book currently has the uninspiring title “2016NaNo” in part because I was having a hard time deciding which story I wanted to work on this November. It took a Sunday afternoon of collage-making before I finally made the decision. My cozy mystery (Cassie & Nicolai’s story) won out, despite the fact that my contemporary choice was a much stronger/defined story. In the end, I went for the (potential) thrill of uncovering a story that I have only a sparse outline for.
With my story selection made, my last bit of pre-work this weekend was to do a little motivational NaNo reading.
In his NaNo Pep Talk, Daniel Jose Older entreated writers to “be brave and ridiculous and absolutely you in your journey to the page and beyond.”
Christina Dodd in her recent post on the best way to write a book was more direct: “Just … write it.”
Chuck Wendig talked on is blog yesterday about the “joy of getting it wrong,” and how “getting it wrong is a vital part of getting it right” since that is how we learn to do things.
I’m going to put the “joy of getting it wrong” on a Post-It by my computer as a reminder not to get bogged down chasing perfection while trying to get my draft down on paper this month.
Now, it’s time to just write. I’ll check back next week with a progress update.
Whether you’re participating in NaNo or not, how is your writing going? Any lessons, motivation, or advice of your own to share?