Yes, it's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The idea: write a 50,000-word novel in a single month. You "win" simply by attaining that magical 50,000 word count. I managed to reach that magical number last November with my first novel -- and first fictional work since college creative writing class. The Pilgrim Pathway was a lot of work but it was somehow enjoyable, inspiring work. I allowed left-brained, linear-thinking me freewrite the first half of a novel -- with no planning, no outlining, little forethought, and no research. Since I am the Research Queen, writing 50,000 words with no research and only one page of character notes is a minor miracle. And a major challenge.
So I am planning to write again next month ... next week, in fact. During the 2009 NaNoWriMo, I am hoping to complete The Pilgrim Pathway. I desperately need to make time to reread it though -- since I haven't read much beyond the first ten pages since last November 28 when I reached 50,000 words. I have deadlines galore for Class Day and Brave Writer this week, so I may find myself reading what I wrote last year on Sunday, the first day of the challenge. But I hope to "win" this year as well, even if what I write is complete and utter crapola. I'm clinging to Anne Lamott's wisdom in her wonderful writing book Bird by Bird in which she devotes an entire chapter to writing crappy (she uses a stronger word) first drafts. I'm just gonna push myself to write those 2000 words per day and not worry about quality; I'll edit later. It's a hard thing to force myself to do asI am quite the perfectionista, but I think the process is good for me as a writer, even if I never do anything with The Pilgrim Pathway.
So in the spirit of the 2009 NaNoWriMo challenge, I chose this quotation for the Quote of the Week:
"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."So I go forward, trying not to doubt my "outgoing guts" and "imagination to improvise," preparing myself mentally to start writing on November 1. Best of luck to all the rest of you NaNo-ites. (You know who you are.)
-- Sylvia Plath