“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” ~ E. L. Doctorow
Gimme ALL the coffee
Happy NaNoWriMo everybody! Today marks the beginning of an insanely crazy month. Where sleep depravity is real, word sprints a daily exercise, Stopping mid conversation to jot something down isn’t rude, and not having enough coffee is a potentially sanity ending crisis.
I know you are all rolling your eyes at that one. While not having enough coffee SOUNDS like first world problems, let me assure you for the safety of humanity, during the month of November it is not.
Writing and coffee go together like PB and J and Simon and Garfunkel. During NaNoWriMo, it is infused into our blood stream and while they have yet to discover how to insert it through IV’s, I swear to you this is the month that that particular medical marvel will be joyously found.
Now I assure you are all, I have not lost my flipping mind.
During NaNoWriMo there is a high probability I just might.
What IS this craziness?
I am sure you are asking yourselves what the heck NanoWriMo is and why would I do it if it makes you lose your mind and make an already serious coffee addiction even worse.
Because it is a meeting of the minds. It is the challenge of the soul. It is Tears. Sweat. Words!
Okay, now I am admittedly being dramatic, but it while no blood is drawn during the month, (unless you talk to me mid jotting down a sentence, then all hell is gonna break loose…You were warned) physically. Mentally it is a taxing and albite at times frustrating endeavor.
NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is when writers challenge themselves to write a novel in thirty days. Fifty-Thousand words to be precise. Yes you read that correctly. Five zero zero zero ZERO which is the shortest a novel can be. Writers all over the world take part and many communities will host write-a-thons and meet-ups to help offer encouragement and support.
Writing is not a solo endeavor, though at times it can seem it. During November the community, from all different genres comes together to cheer each other on and with together. New York is home to many such events, which helps make this a little bit easier. Just a little bit. It helps to know others are as insane as I am!
A NaNoWriMo Veteran
It is my ELEVENTH year doing this. Some years I have failed spectacularly and other years I have succeeded beyond even what I thought was possible. In fact my NaNoWriMo from three years ago is currently under contract, and I decided this year my NaoWriMo would be the third book in that series.
I usually use NaNoWriMo to push myself. Going out of my comfort zone, I will write in a genre I typically don’t do, or use an old story idea I haven’t gotten around to really work on. It is a chance to write and not worry about the fluff.
The fluff in case you were wondering is the editing which an author can get caught in the vortex and never leave. Many a novel has died an early death, mine included because of a little nagging voice called perfection. NaNoWriMo releases you from that.
It gets you to write. Even if it is crap, just write. You can fix crap, you can’t fix a blank page.
This year, I feel like I am taking the easy way out, but with several trips coming up, moving next year and getting THAT paperwork in order, I decided I would focus on what I love to write. Romance. And this year I am revisiting characters I love and a series that three years ago showed me I really was a writer.
And that is the point of NaNoWriMo, to bring the writer out in all of us. Whether we are published or not, as long as you are passionate about writing you are a writer. As someone told me recently, behind every worthwhile action that is done well, there is emotion behind it. Writing embodies that statement to a T.
It may not always be perfect, but as long as you love what you do that is all that matters. And maybe have a daily keg of coffee at the ready!
Happy NaNoWriMo everyone!
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you done it in the past?