We're about a week and a half into November, or as writers refer to it: National Novel-Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. If you're a writer on social media, your feed is now being flooded with absurd word-count totals. The goal is simple: 50,000 words in thirty days. Hey, I didn't say it was easy, I just said it was simple.
Many of the people posting the absurd numbers quite possibly don't have a day job to chew up their time. But there are many who take this opportunity to accomplish their life-long dream of writing a novel. The idea is to just write. Get a first draft written.
So, what am I doing for NaNoWriMo? Well, since you asked. I'm trying to use NaNoWriMo2019 as motivation to finish my work-in-progress. I've been working on it for a while, but lately, the project has really picked up steam.
Writing a novel isn't all about word-count totals, of course. But the totals can keep you motivated. Especially if you do like so many writers do this time of year and actually keep a spread sheet with daily goals vs. written words. I'm not doing that. For one thing, it sounds like a lot of work. Secondly, I began the month with 26,000 words. And it's a good thing I had that head start, because there are plenty of writers out there in the Twittersphere and Instaworld who started at zero and are right on my tail; even with my sizable head start.
As I'm writing this, my word-count total is 31,249. That's more than 5000 words in nine days and change. For me, it's been tremendous progress. For others, that would be a disgraceful disappointment. Well, maybe disgraceful is a bit harsh. But you know how we writers are. We're nothing if not dramatic. Wink, wink.
There is a quote from Seth Godin that I post from time to time on my Instagram page: "Here's the thing: The book that will most change your life is the book you write." Nothing could sum up what this month means to writers more than that.
Hopefully, all the first-time novelists out there will also get to experience what it's like to create fictional characters who come to life; who live and breathe in the minds of their creators; making decisions on their own, teaching the writer a thing or two about themselves and about life. It's an incredible feeling. I've been undergoing that with my work-in-progress. The story has taken many unexpected turns, and it's all been the characters in my little play that have controlled the steering wheel.
So, here's to the first-time novelists, the seasoned fictionalists, the dreamers, the full-time writers, the single moms working two jobs, the poets who always wanted to write a novel, and all the people like me who have a work-in-progress that needed a good kick in the ass. Cheers! And happy writing!