First NaNoWriMo

Well, I’m back to the land of the living. At least physically. It may take some time to acclimate mentally.

That happens when you devote an entire month to conversing mostly with imaginary characters in an imaginary world.

Now don’t rush me to a mental ward just yet. This occurrence is actually common,  taking place in the minds of a select group of people. Especially during one month of the year.

It’s called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short), and it happens every November.

What is it?

Well, I’ll tell ya. Basically, writers from around the globe devote the entire month of November to dishing out a 50,000 word novel. Or, in my case, just adding 50,000 words to the current novel in progress.

It’s a big undertaking.

Quite frankly, I’ve avoided it every year since first hearing about it…oh four or five years ago. Not because I balk at the thought of writing 50,000 words in a month. No way! In fact, one day I aspire to typing 10K in a single day!

It’s because the power’s that be chose November.

Of all months, why November? At least, for me, November is one of the busiest months next to December to accomplish anything. I mean, holidays aside, I homeschool, and have a ranching household to care for. This year, I also decided on another first and joined our local homeschool co-op.

So lets list what my November entailed:

  • Lesson planning and teaching my kids at home.
  • Lesson planning and teaching other kids at co-op each week.
  • Continuing to serve as chief cook and bottle washer
  • Holiday prep (shopping meals and events)
  • Travel
  • Nursing sick kids (the latter half of November)
  • Did I mention we’re prepping for more family to move to the ranch as permanent residence? *Trying to suppress impulsive squeals of delight!*
  • Get in social time with friends and family (outside of our home).
  • Dish out 50K words on the second novel in my Historical Fiction series.

To the untrained eye, the above list might appear simple enough. To those who know better, they might question my sanity, realizing that each bullet – if splayed out in outline form – would have a bazillion sub headings, numerals and letters attached to them.

What can I say? I was desperate.

No, I’m not always a glutton for punishment. In fact, I stress pretty easily. But the real issue was, I set out this year to accomplish some big things. And I was getting nowhere fast with them because I lacked accountability.

So NaNoWriMo became that kick in the pants I needed. Pressure tends to push results with me. Confessing a daily word count with a goal for 50,000 words in a month, would help spur me on toward those results faster than giving myself a year to accomplish a vague goal.

The result:

52,045 words by November 30th!

This was accomplished through all of the above, plus a computer keyboard falling out of commission for four days! Yep! Part of that word count was scrawled in ink!

I gotta tell ya, I was pretty stoked with those results. A sporadic jig or two happened (when no one was looking), and I rewarded myself with an adult beverage. Because, you know, that’s how this introvert rolls.

Will I do it again?

Probably not. Unless other writer friends really initiate the arm twisting and guilt tripping. I think I’d much rather establish my own outrageous word count on my own time…

And leave November to its own crazy schedule.

 

 

 

 

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