It's November 1st. There are too many candy wrappers strewn at my feet, my children are splayed around the house in varying degrees of sugar coma, and the clocks have gone back to standard time, meaning up here in Toronto the sun will go down shortly after lunch. It's also the day my Twitter feed fills up with 140-character musings on #NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's a movement that compels writers, in the dark and cold of each November, to attempt to write a novel in 30 days. It has a website and lots of joiners, and also lots of detractors who say there is something blasphemous about trying to hurry an inherently slow creative process, that trying to write 2000-3000K words a day is like throwing cups of paint at a canvas and hoping it bleeds together to look something like art. They have a point.
But today, I respectfully disagree with those detractors. Today, I've joined #NaNoWriMo.
My goal is a little different than the standard write a book in a month. I am writing the second novel in a series and I'm lucky to have a contract to do so. The first book (Still Mine! ORDER HERE!) comes out in April, and my goal all along has been to have the second book drafted and the revision process fully underway by the time Still Mine is in readers' hands. But transitioning back to the first draft writing has been harder than I thought it would be. I thought it would be same old, same old. But alas, it turns out you're not good at the second book just because you were eventually good at the first. I'm not sure there's ever such thing as mastery in writing. The muscles I built writing Still Mine will no doubt help me this time, but I'm not playing the same sport. The learning is new. I'm a beginner again. That's slowed me down more than I thought it would.
My goal for #NaNoWriMo is to force my brain out of the doubts and questions and into full-on writing mode, to run with the writing I already have. I'm not aiming for a full first draft, but I am aiming to write prolifically, to meet ambitious daily goals. I'm aiming to be part of a wider community of writers trying to do the same. I'm aiming to stop eating candy.
Keep warm, writers. I'll see you December 1st, pages in hand.