I’ve been writing for a living for six years now, and writing for pleasure for over twenty — but I’ve never attempted NaNoWriMo. Until this year.
For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month; it’s a challenge where you try to produce 50,000 words of a novel manuscript during the month of November.
I’ve never tried this before, for one simple reason: the idea of cranking out 50,000 words in 30 days terrifies me. I say this as someone who has written at least something every single day for more than two straight decades. Turning off my inner-editor/obsessive-nitpicker is so far out of my comfort zone that I’ll probably need an oxygen tank just to breathe.
But I’m doing it anyway. I’m going to just write and do my best not to worry whether it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, or even whether it’s any good. I know at the outset that a lot of what I write this month will be rough, even a mess. It will take months more to fix it up. But as I frantically push to invent, I just might hit upon something true, and unexpected, and joyous.
So that’s why I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month. Because it’s the most intimidating thing I can think to do. So I need to.
Win, lose, or draw, I’ll of course let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!