NaNoWriGO! Why I’m doing a challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in a month

little girl writing

You read that right (or should I be totally lame and put “write”? HAWHAW). One novel. 50,000 words. One month. This, my friends, is what National Novel Writing Month (affectionately called “NaNoWriMo”) entails.

The truth is, I am far from the only one participating in this thing. Over 300,000 other aspiring novelists participated in 2013, leading me to believe that at least that many are joining me this year in this pursuit. Not everybody finishes their novel, but they at least have the guts to try. As gutsy as my attempt alone is, though, I intend to make it. I’m gonna finish this thing.

Meaning that after all is said and done, I am going to finish out this month–THIS MONTH–with a freaking novel.

Holy crap.

You mean to tell me that the half-hearted book I’ve been trying to write and rewrite for the past 6 months actually needs to be finished soon?! 28 DAYS from now type of soon?! It’s impossible. I can’t even imagine it. I can’t even picture what that would look like.

And yet, it’s going to happen. I’m not sure how, but it’s going to.

For what it’s worth, here is what I’m looking to gain from this insane process and why I feel it’s worth it to do it in the first place. Although I technically just finished Day 3, I still think I’m close enough to the beginning to provide a “fresh beginner’s perspective” on this. So, here goes:

  • First and foremost, if I’m honest, I’m doing this so that I can have a reason to have at least have a draft of a novel. This alone, however crappy the writing is, would be a dream to me. It’s not that I’m lazy, I just…needed a little push, you know? Once the month is over, I can go from there and edit it into perfection (and I swear, I won’t be lazy!)
  • While I’m participating, I want to gain a sense of how I write best. Am I most productive in the early morning, when I can unabashedly pound matcha tea and see the saber-tooth squirrels (which are REAL, by the way) bounding outside? Or do I work best in little spurts throughout the day? Or, perhaps, I produce my best work at night as I am faced with temptation to go out and do fun things with my boyfriend?
  • I also want to see how good of an editor I actually am. Since my eventual goal is to be an editor of sorts, as well as a writer, this serves as a pretty decent trial run to see if I can even hack it. Maybe I can, and maybe I totally can’t. This will be a good test.
  • Finally, I hope to test my willpower to achieve goals and stick with something until the end. It’s not that I’m necessarily bad at this, but I think completing a challenge every so often keeps that fire alive. Also, I may still be a little booty-sore at myself for not completing all 75 miles of the first day of my bike ride the other week. So…redemption time?

I’ll be sure to check in at various points of this challenge to talk about my progress, my failures, what new things I’ve learned, how much hair I’ve lost, etc. If you’re doing NaNo this year, please share what you hope to gain from the project below, too! Aaaaaand, make sure to become my buddy on the NaNo site! I promise, we can commiserate, collaborate, and eat our feelings ad libitum. It’ll be a great time.

See you in the writosphere! Which I guess is…here…or the NaNo site…or…I don’t know, ignore me right now. I’m tired.

-H

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