My First NaNoWriMo 2011!

This is my very first NaNoWriMo! National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30. The goal is more quantity over quality. It’s an experiment about learning HOW to write a novel and learning about how YOU write. It’s about taking risks, writing frantically, and spilling your guts.

Not all the writing will be good. Most likely it will be crap. But that’s okay from what I’m understanding about the event! It’s more about getting the train chugging along the track, full steam ahead, and just writing. My biggest struggle is forcing myself to sit down each day and write; tackle that novel that I have hidden in a Word document. Instead, I find things to distract me like playing on the computer, spending quality time with my DVR, shopping, picking at toe lint…basically anything, but writing. Why, you ask? Especially since writing is a love and a gift of mine? I think I’ve narrowed it down to fear and bewilderment. Fear in accomplishing the novel and no one will like it, rejection (we all face as writers), fear that it will never be finished, or the novel I want to write won’t work. Bewilderment because I’m at a point in the novel I’m writing where I’m not sure where to head next. I know the ultimate goal, but I’m rambling off the side streets on my way. My hope is that this challenge will be the kick in the butt that I need to get writing!

Jason LaPier of Open Book Fiction shared a valuable post on How to Survive NaNoWriMo. I printed it to keep alongside while I write, with the hope of staying focused and reaching the goal of 50,000 words by Nov. 30. He shares that the biggest survival tip is PLANNING. Plan your story, characters, plot, location, etc. It doesn’t have to be overly detailed, but do enough so that you have a reference. It will enable you to keep on writing and on task without having to stop and use precious time coming up with ideas!

Now you ask why on earth would anyone subject themselves to this torture….According to NaNoWriMo, the reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To give yourself permission to write without obsessing over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To stop being one of those people who say, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel,” and become one of those people who can say, “Oh, a novel? It’s such a funny story–I’ve written three.”

And my reason? Just to say I did it.

And maybe have a novel that just might, dare I say, be worth publishing?

  ~ Kat

5 thoughts on “My First NaNoWriMo 2011!

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