November 1st, the official beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This is my sixth year participating and I’ve won every year. Yay me! So, I’m not nervous like a lot of other writers. I don’t have that will-I-or-won’t-I feeling in the pit of my stomach. I will.
Still, my laissez-faire attitude means that I haven’t prepared as much as I should. Since the old NaNo rules have slacked, I haven’t focused as much as I would like. It used to be that you had to start a brand new fresh novel in November. Now, you can work on something you’ve already started. Since I’ve already started a ridiculous number of novels, the hard part was deciding which novel to focus on for the month.
Every time I picked a novel, it dulled and something shinier caught my attention. I became quite dizzy. It may be that I don’t stick to just the one novel this month, even though I really wanted to do that. Could be that I go back and forth between a few. But that’s no different from what I do every day.
So how do I make November special?
Well, there’s 4 The Words, which is an online writing tool–basically a way to turn writing into a role playing game. I’m writing this first draft in 4 The Words right now. Every November, they find a way to make writing that much more fun. They craft a special area, special monsters (you defeat the monsters by writing so many words in so many minutes), and special virtual prizes. The influx of new quests and adventures always bumps up my word counts in November.
I also have my “nemesis” from Michigan. Four years ago, the cities of Chicago and Detroit decided to pair up against each other and, if you wanted, you could be assigned a nemesis, someone who you competed with for the highest word count. I liked my first year nemesis, but my second year nemesis really kicked it up a notch. I’ve kept him. This will be our third year competing–the tie-breaker year!
Really, though, November, for me, is a celebration of writing, particularly the joy of writing a first draft, when I don’t have to worry about how it’s all going to turn out. Well, technically, I don’t have to worry.
For all you writers out there. Get out there and put words on the page, characters on the screen, or dots and dashes on the telegraph. Tell your story!