Thursday, October 29, 2009

May be M.I.A. for a bit

I've had quite a writing streak lately and have been trying to think of a new subject to blog about. I've gotten where I quite enjoy the process. A friend recently shared with me about NaNoWriMo. Are you blinking and wondering about that like I was when she first mentioned it? Well, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and it's an organization that encourages writers, and those that want to be writers, to simply write more. They picked November as a month to encourage all those that love putting together words to completely purge themselves from Nov. 1- Nov. 31. The goal is to write a novel, fiction, consisting of 50,000 words in that one month time. They encourage those to not use previous story lines or partial stories already in the works. It must be from the start of the process to the very end in the month of November.

If you sign up with the organization, you make it more official and it becomes more of a psychological commitment to finish. The website said last year 120,000 signed up and 20,000 completed their 50,000 words. The goal is not an award-winning book. It is simply to put down 50,000 words. It seems that most writers tend to be perfectionists and in our desire for our stories to be good, we tend to obsess on words, grammar, structure, plot, etc., to the point that many never actually finish their stories. Getting past those insipid writing blocks is also a universal issue. So NaNoWriMo encourages that we are not to worry about whether the story is living up to our expectations or think it's good. Even bad, 50,000 words is an accomplishment.

Now, when I heard about NaNoWriMo, I was impressed, but didn't consider doing it myself as I don't write fiction. I have never had much luck at coming up with sustaining plot ideas. I took Journalism all through high school and was the editor in my senior year, so true, fact-filled stories are much more comfortable and easy for me. I even struggled in my college creative writing class. I simply wasn't wordy enough. But yesterday, three days before NaNoWriMo begins, my friend talked enough to have me wondering if this is something I could really do. I decided I would give it a whirl but do it more on my own, and not to expect a 50,000 goal but perhaps 30,000. I could be happy with that. Then I would plan to do it up right next year. But, my friend, being my friend, is pushy. Very, very pushy. So this morning I made if official. Signed up and everything. I still don't know if I have a story in me. And if I do happen to find one, can I stretch it to novel length? I guess we'll all find out. So, if you don't see me during November, you'll know I'm not hanging up my "pen", so to speak. In fact, I really can't imagine not blogging anymore. Surely I'll have something to talk about. And I may need the distraction to get my head out of the great story that I'm obsessing about. Maybe I'll just give everyone an update of how I'm doing, how it's going. Wish me luck, cross your fingers, say a prayer, whatever you feel led to send my way. I'll appreciate it all.

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