For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is short for ‘National Novel Writing Month.’ It’s where, for the month of November, participants attempt to produce 50,000 words worth of novel manuscript. They share their progress and experiences on the website, and have the opportunity to connect, encourage and share with like minded people from around the world.
It’s been running for a while now, (since 1999 in fact) and has gained in popularity as the years pass us by. I’ve watched from afar for quite a few years, but I’m not one to thrive on deadlines and pressure, preferring to work at my own pace. Actually, if I’m honest, having something hanging over my head gives me the heebie-jeebies.
This year, however, I decided to give it a go. After all, I’m writing every day and I’ve got a new novel sitting there ready to start, so why not?
As of the time of writing, it’s only day 3 and I’ve not gotten far – but it’s not about ‘success’ or ‘failure’ so much as participation, about facing down your vulnerabilities and learning to live with them. It seems silly that, knowing full well I’m a verbose writer with a borderline obsession to create daily, I’d be nervous about the sort of commitment accepting a 30 day deadline entails, but here we are.
NaNoWriMo 2019 is less about achieving the 50k mark in the allotted time and more about giving it a go, and learning to manage my experiences both emotionally and in terms of output. I’m planning to come out of this stronger in more ways than simply indulging in the exercise of starting a new book. Best case, I’ve come to terms with one of my weaknesses and worst case, I’ve got some intriguing experiences to file away in the character building section of my brain and never have to talk about it again. We shall see!