I just took the plunge and registered for the 2012 NaNoWriMo. For those uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. I am going to write a novel in the month of November.
Admittedly, this is less impressive than it sounds. I've done it in the past and found it quite easy to write the required 50,000 words that it takes to officially finish the task. It's really not a lot to write. I started the story without any planning or idea of plot or characters. Chris Baty, one of the creators of NaNoWriMo has written a book about the event and it's titled, "No Plot, No Problem". I read it and took it to heart. I entered the event without a goal and ended up meeting it with a story that had a structured plot with a story arc and some twists thrown in for good measure. I immediately deleted the entire thing on December 1st. It met the goal, but was a load of crap and not worth editing.
This is not my inner critic talking, it was drivel. I know that I can write and that just wasn't something that I left feeling proud of, so I dumped it. I like the entire concept of NaNoWriMo, the idea of just creating and letting go of that inner critic. It's about putting pen to paper and getting it out there. That's the magic. However, this time I am taking a different approach.
I have an idea. Scratch that, I have a great idea that I am excited about. It a story that grew from a short story that I workshopped through a class at UCLA extension. My short was extremely well received and I thought of a way to grow it into a bigger story. I don't have it all worked out and there are going to be characters and twists that I have not yet thought up. However, I feel like this is going to be a completely different NaNoWriMo experience for me.
I require deadlines. I've had this idea for over a year and have yet to put it to paper. Months ago, I wanted to get going on it and if it turns out the way that I hope and imagine it will, I want to self publish it on Amazon. So here we are, October 31st and NaNoWriMo starts at midnight. I thought why not just give myself that imposed deadline and go for it?
I am sure that my story will be over 50,000 words, but I am not going to focus too much on that goal. If it is, it is and if it isn't, it isn't. Regardless if I qualify for an official NaNoWriMo finisher badge (when you finish the story, you submit it and they run it through a program to make sure that you hit the number goal) or not, my own goal is going to be to finish the first draft of my story to my satisfaction. That will make me feel like I have achieved my goal, not the number of words. I am going to use the NaNoWriMo site as motivator to push me through it.
I am off at midnight. The first few weeks will probably be slow going, as I am scheduled a bunch of shifts at work. However, my last day is the 13th and then it is full steam ahead. Here's to a productive month of November!