In Which I Thank NaNo
I’d heard of NaNo for years. But I’d never actually paid much attention to it. I don’t know why. I think it was just outside of my scope. But in 2009, things changed.
6 months earlier I discovered writing and agent blogs. Yes, I was a bit slow on the uptake. Up till that point I had read mostly dog and pet blogs. It had never occurred to me that there were blogs for agents and writers and stuff.
Once I started reading them, I was hooked. You see, I had been sitting in a writing rut. I hadn’t written anything new in about 2 years. There were multiple reasons why, a long commute, a change in job, not being in love with my current novel. You know the drill. I had even reached the point where I was wondering if I even wanted to be a writer anymore. I mean, if I couldn’t finish the one lousy novel I had been working on for years, clearly I wasn’t cut out for it.
But then, I heard about NaNo again. Write a novel in a month? Could I accomplish that? I mean, I had no idea if 50K in 30 days was something that would even be doable for me. I had no idea how many words were in any of my previous work, and I had no idea how long it would take me to pump out the 1667 words a day to hit the NaNo winning goal.
But. Yes, the wonderful “but”. This was a chance for me to take a break from the current MS (and by take a break, I really meant, allow myself permission to start something new. Because clearly I had been in a break from the MS for a long time, I just hadn’t admitted it to myself). I had plenty of ideas on the backburner just waiting for a chance. And NaNo was going to be it.
So, in November 2009, I officially became a writer again. NaNo showed me that I could write every day without having to sacrifice other things in my life. NaNo showed me that I could write 1667 a day in less than an hour. Hell, NaNo showed me that I could write 8k in one sitting, if I was really in the groove.
Mostly, though, NaNo showed me that it’s OK to set something aside if it’s not working anymore. It’s ok to start something new, to branch out. Instead of just drowning silently beside the stone of a broken MS.
What about you? Are you ready to give NaNo a try?
Sarah Ahiers was a winner in 2009 and 2010 NaNoWriMo and was also selected as a 30 Covers in 30 Days winner during the 2010 NaNoWriMo. She will be participating in 2011 NaNo under screen name Falen1 and would love to be your pal (because seeing other writers’ word count creep above hers is extremely “motivating” for her).
She blogs MWF at http://falenformulatesfiction.blogspot.com