This is the first of what I hope to be a series on my experience with National Novel Writing Month orNaNoWriMo. It had changed my life, for the better. I hope.
Since I'm not working, I thought it would be a good year to be a municipal liaison for Nano. So I'm a co ML, which is great because Phoenix is a large area to take care of. So far, most of my job has been coordinating with my fellow ML and sending and responding to emails. We have someone interested in planning some meetings for an area in the nether regions, or at least far from where we are based. Yay!
My first November of literary abandon, as Nano is described, was 2008. I finally relented to my sister-in-law, Jean and decided on the first of the month I would attempt to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 days. I was teaching full time at the time, so it would be a challenge in several ways.
The first challenge, of course, was time. Teaching 6th grade took up all my day and much of my evening and weekends with planning and grading. But I found the writing to be stress-relieving. No one had to see it or read it. You're not supposed to edit as you write; the focus is to get the story down. A Wrimo (Nano writer) is encouraged to silence her inner editor. A monster was created. I couldn't stop. I had to force myself to go to bed so I could teach in the morning. I had to force myself to do what I needed to do at home for school. All I wanted to do was write! And housework? Didn't happen.
Another challenge facing on November 1, 2008, was what the hell should I write about? I hadn't a plan. I hadn't a clue. I decided to take a slice of my life as it was then and start with that. I ending up flying with it and very little turned out to be autobiographical. At least in my opinion.
Something else I already knew was that I didn't really know how to write, how to structure a novel, how to develop characters, how to outline, etc. I figured I could learn if I wanted.
I always thought a writer had to outline, like they tell you in school. I'm not much good a planning ahead. I have since learned that many writers simply set out and write by the seat of their pants. It didn't make me a bad person to not outline. What a relief that was!
The first step in a journey of 50,000 words is the first word. I wrote that word and have been writing ever since.
Here's the link to NaNoWriMo. Check it out. Perhaps there is a writing monster in you dying to be let loose.