Its that time of the year again. No, not daylight savings time (though yes, I did remember to reset my clocks this morning). Its NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge: write a 50,000 word ‘novel’ during the 30 days of November.
Every year since sometime back in high school (I wanna say 2004), I’ve tried to participate in NaNoWriMo. Sometimes I make the whole month, often times I don’t. And once, good ol’ 2008, I managed to win it.
Every year I make excuses. “I’m just so busy with X. Next year when I’m not dealing with X, I’ll have much more time…” Fill in ‘X’ with: work, school, family, pets, projects, etc. I honestly thought that when I was done with college, my free time would abound… No more papers or projects with deadlines. No more studying for finals, etc. Ah youth…
This, like all other years, I’ve got stuff going on. But its unrealistic to expect that I’ll have a clean slate leaving my time wide open for just writing. I’m an adult now. I have responsibilities. Job to do, bills to pay, obligations and plans that have been made. They’ll never be an abundance of time. And thats part of the trick to NaNoWriMo, fitting a challenge into your already busy life. And thats why winning is all the more satisfying. The only year I won, 2008, I was studying abroad in Spain. I had college assignments and tests, I was balancing the language barrier, and I was trying to be a tourist in a fascinating country. I’m not sure I could have picked a crazier time in my life to try and accomplish NaNoWriMo, but I managed to finish anyway.
Its for that reason, my busy hectic 2008 that I won anyway, that I know A) its definitely not impossible. And B) excuses are nothing but excuses. If I could do it then, I can certainly do it now.
My excuses this year? Well, like most years, I didn’t prep an outline, or even flesh out fully what I want to write about. Even at this moment, with Day 1 in full swing, I’m still fuzzy on a plot, and only have a vague idea of what a character or two might look like. It needs work if I want to sustain it through the whole month. But, thats ok. Even if I don’t make it to 50,000 this month, just working on it and being dedicated is a step in the right direction.
I’m also in the middle of switching jobs. My last day at my current position is Monday and my next job starts the following Monday. Things are chaotic as I try to clean up any remaining projects before I leave. And starting a new job will either be slow and steady with a gradual ramp up, or absolutely jump in head first and hope you don’t drown. We’ll see which one is more accurate in the next week.
For anyone else out there wanting to join me in NaNoWriMo, you can find me (and my pitiful progress) on the site as slaynsoul. If you need someone to cheerlead, I can do that, too.