NaNoWriMo here i go


Yes, I just posted not one, but two pieces about slowing down, taking less on, finding balance, blah, blah, blah. And I also just posted a project where I’ll be sending handwritten notes/cards/letters to my Facebook friends and family every day in November, so perhaps my plate is a little full. But November is NaNoWriMo month, and I’ve been putting it off for several years now.

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a very strange acronym/portmaneau for National Novel Writing Month. Basically it’s a push to write 50,000 words in the month of November and get a first draft of your novel done. Terrifying, right? As this is my first attempt–and because I have a day job, volunteer commitments, a freelance business, hosting an upcoming creative expression workshop, am planning a wedding, am doing the Note A Day project, and just launched YYC Book Swap, among other things like having a life, seeing friends and family, spending time with my fiance and, oh yeah, sewing and knitting up a storm to host a booth at my first ever Christmas Craft Sale–I’m going to do my first NaNoWriMo a little differently:

  1. I’m not going to kill myself to hit 50,000 words in 30 days. I know it’s possible, lots of other people have done it–in fact, Sarah Gruen’s Water For Elephants was a NaNoWriMo project–and if I could hit 50,000 words in 30 days, that would be awesome! But it’s not likely to happen (given the aforementioned list of commitments and distractions) so I’m not going to kill myself trying
  2. The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to declare your novel and then write it. I’ll admit I’ve had a novel ideal percolating for some time now–a few, actually–but I don’t know if I’m ready (see above list of distractions) to write an entire novel. If it ends up being that way, then brilliant! But really, my goal is to write more; every day, if I can. And so if that ends up being bits a novel, or bits of a novel interspersed with smaller projects, or just taking on a few writing prompts, then so be it
  3. I’m not going to kick myself ’round the house for not making it. Whether I don’t hit 50,000 words, or write every day, or even work on said novel idea, I’m not going to let it get me down. My reason for taking this on is to write more because, though I want to write, I don’t make it a priority. So that’s what I’ll do this year

So there you have it: Shannon’s pseudo-NaNoWriMo 2014. I’ll document some of it here because, well, why wouldn’t I? And we’ll see how it goes. What about you? Anyone else taking on NaNoWriMo? Or giving it your own spin? Why? What are you doing? Is it the first time you’ve done this? Comment below and share your own story.

Note: Thanks to my friend, @regtiangha–who took this challenge last year, and the year before that, I believe–for being a quiet inspiration, supporter, challenger and cohort. Best of luck, Reg.



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