This year is the sixth consecutive year I’ve done NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated, that’s National Novel Writing Month, the worldwide challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. I haven’t “won” for a few years now, but I always get a lot written in November. I’m not going to give up yet.
This has been a big year for me. I became a mom this year. In some ways, I’ve changed. But in many ways, I’ve learned more about myself, and one of those things is that I’m not about to give up writing. It’s a part of me. Even when I’m writing something that I never plan to see the light of day, I’m invigorated by the process. Creating anything is thrilling, but wordcrafting turns out to be my favorite creative endeavor anytime I have to choose one. Even when my son was just a few weeks old, I found myself saving up brief sentences in the back of my mind, jotting them down when I had a chance. I really can’t turn it off!
So, my son is eight months old this month, and I started a new novel. I’m really excited about it, but it is forcing me to employ time-management skills that I never quite developed. One saving grace is the writing meetup group I founded with two of my friends a few years ago. It began as a regular NaNoWriMo write-in (a write-in is an event in which the participants get together to write), but we continued getting together for weekly write-ins year-round. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a weekly block of free time, a friendly support network, and a healthy dose of peer pressure.
This NaNoWriMo, I’ve done the bulk of my novel-writing during our weekly write-in. My progress is slow, but I’ve been churning out about 2,000 words per meeting. It occurred to me that, even though it’s unlikely that I’ll get to 50,000 words this month, if I wrote only during our write-ins, I would still get 104,000 words written per year. That’s totally a novel! And since I do write more than just on a weekly basis, I should be able to get a novel written and revised in the course of a year. I just need to stay on track.
I’m dubbing this year National Novel Writing Year. (Or maybe Personal Novel Writing Year, although it would be great if I could just write a novel every year.) In the interest of committing to getting this thing done, I’ll even share with you the little teaser I put together as I was outlining this year’s novel. Here is the (zeroth draft) cover and back copy:
Trent is not having a good day, even by his standards. He’s always been unlucky, but today, it’s personal. He lost his job, his apartment, his wallet… and he just lost his last twenty bucks to the cashier at a Chinese take-out cart who charges him for the “good luck” cookie he just ate. It didn’t even have a fortune it in – or so he thinks.
But when good luck strikes immediately afterwards, Trent wonders if he can get more. He soon learns where to find luck of all sorts – at The Fortunes Market.