This time last year I was thinking how great it would be to do the NaNoWriMo thing. November was on it’s way and the adverts were appearing all over the web. It made sense for me and I wondered why I had waited so long until now. Writing a book in one month…wow, sounded amazing. I hadn’t really investigated it much but it sounded great. So, yeah, definitely, I love writing, I wanna write a book, this is like some kinda gift from god saying ‘here’s your chance’.
I signed up. Researched the shit out of everything it had to offer. Signed up for all the local, national and global events. It was great. You get so much support. From peers to bona fide successful authors, moderators, helpsers, editors and agents alike. All giving advice, free and easy. Wow , it’s truly a spectacular event, if you’re a wannabe writer.
National Novel Writing Month – November 1-30. The world needs your novel. That’s how it’s proposed. The world needs your novel, and, hell, that sounds great, doesn’t it? You sit down for a month and write a novel and the world ends up a better place. Excellent, I thought while rubbing my hands together and promptly got stuck right in as soon as November kicked off. However, after a day or so I was all: Hmm, I need to edit this shit…
So the thought of being able to write a novel in 30 days began to seem ridiculous. Somewhat of a dream that one could write a novel in a month. But then, that was my perspective because for me a novel must be perfect before it is released to all and sundry. It needs to be edited, rewritten and edited again before you can show it to anyone. That was my line of thinking, at the time, so I couldn’t do it.
I was being a bit overly critical on the whole idea, thinking too much about it instead of just doing it. Henry Ford once said – ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you are right.’ I thought myself out of it. Told myself I couldn’t do it and Mr Ford’s advice turned out to be spot on.
Now, a year on, I’ve had a change of mind — helped by the fact that I’ve spent the last year trying to write my very own first draft, which, itself, has been a painstaking juggernaut of learning on what a first draft of anything really is. It’s getting the words down. Simple as that. The first draft is just getting the words down. Those bloody elusive words. Just getting them onto the page, one after another. Sentence by sentence. Easy.
So I’ve learned that NaNoWriMo is not the big bad monster of the editing world I previously thought it was. I now understand that you can do the editing later and that even though it may be merely the first draft, it can still be a novel—just one needing edited at a later date. Later being the operative word here.
1667 words every day for 30 days. I can do it. People do it every year so I can too. The words may not be the best that my little perfectionist brain may be able to think of, given time, and they might never even see the light of day but, by Ford, they’re gonna get put on a page. I need to be positive. It’s a first draft. Just write the damn thing.
This is the perfect opportunity to get fifty thousand words added onto my first draft. Hell, now I think about it, maybe I’ve subconsciously been waiting for NaNoWriMo to come round again so I can utilize all the positive attributes it has to offer. Maybe I’m one of those guys who can only do something when someone else is pushing me to do it, or I can only do it when I’m part of something bigger. That would be a bit of a bummer – only being able to write productively during November and writing like a slowpoke, dilly-dallier dreaming about writing rather than actually writing. But there I go again, getting all critical and negative. Just write, you fool.
National Novel Writing Month here I come! And so should you too.
You’re a fool. You know that, don’t you? Because only a fool would try a stunt as crazy as this. You want to write a 50,000 word novel in one month?! Do you have sawdust in your skull?