Wednesday, November 4, 2015
There is something reassuring about a routine. Knowing exactly what is going to happen and when leaves your mind free to get other things done while you wait and puts you in the right frame of mind when your attention is required. That's what NaNoWriMo has become for me. I don't have to think about what I will be doing in November. It's given that I will write a 50,000 word manuscript. Sometimes, I will hate it but most times I will be too busy having a ball (and sharing the experience with others) to care that I have embarked on what most people would call an 'insane writing challenge'.
I look forward to the month like I am waiting for something special to happen...and every year it does. With my attention fully intent on creating something from scratch, I make the time and give of my effort and come up with a book in 30 short days. I know it's possible. I've done it before. And while that reassurance means I can do it again, it doesn't always mean I can do it well.
Sometimes it has been hard and other times it has been really easy. Sometimes I start of in one frame of mind then go through a hundred different variations before month is over. But I always finish with the same feeling. Whatever I have done, I am always astounded by the sense of accomplishment that comes with putting myself into my writing and coming up with something that wasn't there before.
Then there are the products of that writing. A few are stories that I will one day share (watch this space). Others will never see the light of day. A very few will fall under the care of a word processing surgeon and be cut up and put back together in ways I might not have imagined while I was putting them down the first time around. This is the magic of the rewrite and editing. (A part of the creative process I have not found as much love for just yet.)
Such is the nature of writing. Doing it in this fast paced writing challenge makes it easy to do things I might not otherwise try. Being okay with them if they don't work out or being utterly impressed with myself when they do. If you want to find out more about what I have been doing for the past decade every November, check out NaNoWriMo.org. Perhaps you'll find a little bit of your own magic in the annual habit of writing a novel in a month.