Most people look at me like I’m speaking a different language when I mention NaNoWriMo. In a way, I guess I am—the language of writers, novelists in particular.
It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s basically a month-long marathon of writing. To “win” you have to write 50,000 new words in the month of November. You don’t actually win anything other than digital “pins” and bragging rights. It is a non-profit, after all. But the idea is to get a complete rough draft version of a novel fleshed out.
Switching between creative writing mode and editing mode is difficult and time-consuming. I read somewhere that editing while writing is procrastination, and I agree. There’s no doubt about it, harnessing our creative energies into the written word is hard. So, rather than push forward, we go back and re-read, we edit, we move things around, we edit some more, until finally we’re satisfied. Then we have to work hard to get back into our creative mode and work out more of the story. It’s a slow process, which I have struggled with.
Many writers have successfully drafted their first novel with NaNoWriMo (or “NaNo” for short). You simply don’t have time to edit. You need WORDS on the page! If it can work for them, then it can work for me. This will be my first NaNo, and I have much fear and anticipation.
To further hinder my inner editor, I have signed a contract with myself that includes rewards and a looming punishment. You may have guessed from the title of this post what my self-inflicted punishment is. Yes, if I fail to win NaNo, I will have to wash my husband’s car inside and out! So, now I have to do it, right?
If I do win, I have promised my family that I will take them out for ice skating and dinner at a favorite BBQ restaurant. Now they are all onboard and ready to help out so I can achieve this.
This weekend I went to my region’s NaNo Kick-off Potluck Party. I won a coveted “marble” plate for my humble pumpkin bars. If that’s not a good omen, then I don’t know what is!