I am pleased to present author, blogger, music playlist superstar, and friend, Adrianne Russell to the blog! With a great ear for YA voice and a passion for writing, Adrianne is approaching NaNo this year with a lofty goal. Read on!
The Audacity of NaNoWriMo
November 2011 marks my fourth foray into the wild and wacky world of National Novel Writing Month, so Tricia's request to write a guest post about that very subject is perfectly timed. In just a matter of days, I willingly jump into a gaping abyss of word counts, write-ins and pep talks as I push toward my goal of 100,000 words. What's that you say? Winning NaNoWriMo only requires 50,000 words? That's true. But this year I have a different plan.
First, some backstory: Sick of abandoning New Year's Resolutions by the second week of January, I decided to make commitments instead, goals that could range from down-to-earth to pie-in-the-sky as long as I took measurable steps to achieve them. In 2010, I knocked 16 of 20 commitments off the list, including finding the perfect shade of lipstick, publishing my first freelance article and buying a smoking-hot party dress.
Consistently achieving goals reframes everything. You develop a kick-ass "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" mentality (sincere apologies to Puff Daddy & Mase) except you don't need shiny suits, explosions and fish-eye lenses to tell the world how much you rock; it just shows.
I carried that feeling into 2011, dubbing it the Year of Calculated Risks. No more living in fear, hiding behind everything I thought was safe and secure. Every personal and professional choice serves to reclaim a sense of hope I haven't experienced since I was a kid, that unshakeable belief that I can do anything and try anything and if I fail, there's no harm in trying again.
When I activated my supreme
procrastination planner skills a few weeks ago, I wondered
how I could embiggen this year's NaNoWriMo. Finish in three weeks instead of
four? Type one-handed? Write entirely in iambic pentameter? Suddenly it hit me:
100,000 words flashed in my brain like it was framed in neon.
I was terrified, then excited, then nauseous, then resolute: I can do this.
Just like that, my childhood fearlessness returned with a vengeance. There is no equivocating on this: prolific or not, celebrated or not, published or not, I’m a writer. It’s all I’ve ever been and all I’ve ever wanted to do. If I don’t raise the bar, I’ll never improve. If I don’t push myself, I’ll never know what I’m capable of.
So yeah, NaNoWriMo, I see your challenge and raise you 50%. Double or nothing.
Adrianne Russell lives and writes in the Midwestern United States. She had to look up iambic pentameter to write this post. You can visit her at The Writers Republic (www.thewritersrepublic.wordpress.com) or follow her @writersrepublic (www.twitter.com/writersrepublic) on Twitter.