Saturday, October 22, 2011

As NaNoWriMo Dawns...

Novemvber is National Novel Writing Month. Their website will tell you as much, and I suspect most readers of this blog already know what's in store for them next month. You may already be hip-deep in research, plotting, outlining, or even a holy-crap-what-am-I-going-to-write bender.

This will be my seventh year of doing NaNo. I've "won" the past three years, with word counts around 52k, 68k, and 51k. Winning three years in a row isn't an impressive streak in the grand scheme of things, but it's one I'd like to keep intact. There's just one thing that might keep me from it.

I'm getting married.

And going on a honeymoon.

I guess that was two things.

While I love writing, I love my soon-to-be wife even more. I'm still going to write when I can--which will probably include a lot of lunch breaks at work--but I don't know if 50k is in the cards for me this month. I'm going to try my best, and maybe risk a glare from the wife here and there, but my winning streak may stop at three.

And you know what? I'm OK with that.

We all want to win NaNo. We all want to submit a verified word count over 50k, turn our bars purple, and get a "Winner" label. But the real point of NaNo is to spur creativity, to drive you forward in your quest to complete a serious creative endeavor. It's supposed to teach people that they CAN write a book by just plugging away every day for a month (or more). The spirit of NaNo is in the creativity, the community with your fellow writers who are sparking the creative fires just like you are. I'm still going to be a part of that. I just might not hit 50,000 words by the end of the month.

If you're doing NaNo, good luck. I hope you hit your goals, whatever they may be. And at the end of the writing and editing processes (you ARE going to edit the book you write, aren't you?), I hope you have a novel you're proud of. Regardless of what Charlie Sheen might have said, that is winning.

Happy writing.