You know, I really need to learn to say NaNaWriMo because every time I try to verbally speak it, I sound like my tongue has swollen inside my mouth.
I wasn’t going to do NaNaWriMo. Like, ever. I’m a slow and steady girl. I don’t generally need big outside motivators once I’ve decided to do something. I just do it, at my own pace, consistently. In fact, the whole idea of NaNoWriMo kind of worried me. I was concerned I would feel pressure to perform in order to create something quickly that I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be really proud of at the end. I mean, I knew that to slap out a novel in a month would make for some rushed work. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to create a novel that would take another two years to fix. Also, I needed to take November (and maybe a chunk of December too) to work on a book I’ve been helping a friend write. It has been woefully back-burnered as I’ve worked on my companion book to Grey Stone and I wanted to dedicate some serious time to working with my friend’s book (which has become a little foster baby of mine too now). How on earth was this going to leave me with any time to hammer out another novel?
And yet. The night before NaNoWriMo started, a friend had signed up, so what the heck, I signed up. I actually had an idea rattling around in my brain that kept getting pushed to the side because there were several other projects of more importance taking the forefront of my mind and attention. And I thought, “Well, maybe, at least I can get some plotting done, some ideas down, some scenes.” That was my goal. No 50,000 words, no complete novel. Certainly no pressure to write a cool 2000 words every day.
And then that first night rolled around. I’d been busy all day, working on books, marketing, mommying; I may have even done some dishes. But it wasn’t quite bedtime yet, so I sat (practically laid) down on the couch and began writing. Six pages and 1500-ish words later, I was kind of hooked–almost high from it. It had taken me an hour. One hour. It wasn’t perfect writing, but it wasn’t half bad for a first draft. And it hadn’t taken forever either. I thought, “Hey maybe I can do this.” After all, I usually have an hour (or a half an hour) each day when I can knuckle down and write. At least I do for a month. And so I will. It’s been fun so far–plotting, writing, not giving it more than an hour each day (and, yes, not producing perfect writing or story), but getting it on the page, exceeding (so far) expectations. It was the nudge I needed to get some ideas down. And isn’t that what our muses are really waiting for anyway.