I’m a participant this year in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. This year, I actually prepared. The first time I ever tried writing for it was a year ago and I didn’t win, mostly because halfway through I realized that I could not write when I needed to write. Real life would catch up with me and I couldn’t find the time to write or I’d sit in front of my computer and stare blankly at my word processor, unsure about how to continue the novel I was writing. So I stopped about two weeks into November and accepted defeat.
This year is different. About a month ago, I decided that a novel I was considering would be my project for this year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s part of a trilogy I plan on publishing once I’ve gotten my first book published, which coincidentally happens to be the failed project from last years competition. After that, this book is up for the market, I guess. I actually made an outline and included subplots, which is something I’ve never written before. I figured I would give it a try because this month is all about trying new things and innovations, another reason why I am also writing an LGBTQ character for the first time.
So far, I’m staying on track with my word count. I’m actually ahead but I have lacked on getting my goal in two days ago. Unfortunately, I went to get some immunizations a few days ago and my flu shot. I am now sick and I hate it. It’s completely stupid. And I can’t look at my screen for too long without wanting to close my eyes and fall asleep forever. Writing is difficult right now, especially because I constantly have to blow my nose or take some time to get over a headache. I’m really hoping that I’ll get over this in a few days so that I can reach the halfway point before I have to get back to class on Tuesday.
One final thing before I post this; NaNoWriMo is an incredible motivator. The whole thing is based off of the idea that you get down all your thoughts and the storyline that you’re imagining without caring about how much sense it makes or how shitty the first draft is probably going to be. It reminds me of a book that I had to read for my Rhetoric class called “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. There’s a chapter in there called “Shitty First Drafts” and I think it is pretty much the embodiment of NaNoWriMo. This competition is an incredible motivator because it doesn’t matter how horrible you think your writing is, by the end, you’ll have something finished that you can go back and edit and revise and make longer or shorter and it could eventually be published. For aspiring authors, it’s the greatest reason to put yourself out there and have your work acknowledged and be taken seriously about what you want to do with your future.
I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong about this. I’ve been writing for so long it’s become easy to just put down whatever the hell is on my mind without worrying about what I write. God, I’m tired. And sick. Ugh.