One of my favorite things to juggle in the Fall, well, mainly during the month of November is a wonderful event known as NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which November is. Over the years NaNoWriMo has exploded in to a giant forum-posting, pep-talk sending, procrastination station for writers during the month of November. Writers across the world(!) make a pact to write a novel during the month of November. NaNoWriMo has defined a novel as ending up right around 50,000 words, so that’s the goal for most writers. This averages out to about 1,667 words each day. There are rules and regulations to follow, the main one being no words can be written before November 1st. You can plan all you want, but the first word goes down usually at 12:01 AM on November 1st.
I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo for the past four years, however I’ve never been able to finish it. I miraculously stumbled upon the organization during my sophomore year at DePauw University. Foolish and thinking of my childhood dream to be a writer, I signed up and banded together with some of my sorority sisters to pursue inevitable fame and fortune for writing the next Harry Potter series. Obviously, I failed. I got caught up in my cross-country career, my sorority, and my mountains of homework and readings.
Each year after that, the same thing kept happening. Though I was passionate and truly wanted to finish my novel, I would always lose hope soon after 10,000 words.
Last year I did a lot of plot development. I had an epiphany while I was at work, jotted down a quick idea, and once I got home I started filling up notebooks with this amazing story about a faraway land, an evil queen, and … well, I can’t give it all away. I had a lot of meaningful discussions with my older brother, Chris, about the story and he really liked what I had already developed.
So, with today being the last day in October, I’m not necessarily thinking about Halloween. My eyes are on the clock, counting down until midnight when I can take another stab at finishing my 50,000 words and accomplishing one of my long-time goals. I know it won’t be any easier this year – hello, I’m a graduate student! – but I’ve got to keep trying until I make it.
Here’s to juggling!
To learn more about NaNoWriMo and to even sign up, go to www.nanowrimo.org !