So, earlier this week I signed myself up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
One afternoon, I was just casually scrolling through my twitter feed, and I just happened to see that a few people had the hashtag #NaNoWriMo attached to their tweets. When I saw this, a vague combination of memories was conjured up. Several people I know had done this before. I remembered conversations about goals and timelines. I had seen it popping up on Facebook and other outlets. Each time, I had thought, “I’m going to do that!” However, in the past, I had always been too late – or pregnant, or moving, or all of the above.
But not this time. There’s still plenty of time left in October to get ready. Right?
I googled NaNoWriMo, and found my way to the main site for the contest. I went from just sort of toying around with the idea, to filling out the online sign up, to planning out an outline for my novel within about five minutes. It was that fast! Something came over me!
There was a moment, when I was signing up, where the website prompts you to go ahead and make it public that you are joining the contest. They give you a pre-made tweet saying:
All you have to do is just click on it. I hesitated. Did I really want to do this? Yes! I’ve always wanted to write a novel! So I clicked the tweet.
After the initial rush of nerd-powered adrenaline wore off, I immediately thought, “Oh no! What have I done!” As tweets and emails started to pour in, (“Congratulations!” and “Wow, you’re brave!”) I started to worry – when would I find time to write? What would I write about? Who would read this? What if my book was really REALLY bad?
So I did what I always do. I started to plan. I’m a planner.
I started creating lists of characters, and possible tables of contents, and timelines. I started writing little small moments that revealed snippets of my characters’ personalities. I even started dreaming up a title and a cover for the book. (The title might be ‘Midair,’ with a picture of a 1950’s Piper Clipper airplane on the cover, parked in a grassy field, on a dark and starry summer night, with a tent pitched under each wing. The tents glow from lantern light within so that you can see the silhouettes of the characters inside the tents.).
Once I started, like always, I found it hard to stop.