For the first time in my life, I'm participating in a special event for November's National Novel Writing Month. The goal: write 50,000 words in thirty days.
For a plotter/pantser like me whose
internal editor is like an uncontrollable beast, this project seemed,
not just a daunting task, but an impossible one. How could I do this?
I'm the writer who's lucky to manage a consistent five hundred words
daily, who edits a chapter before I can move on to the next, whose
writing comes in fits and bursts and whose plotting consists of a
coarse outline on the back of an old page of my desk calendar.
I'm also the writer who's always up for
a challenge. So, I overcame those doubts and insecurities to
register for a special event at Savvy Authors. That, my dear friends,
was the easy part. Immediately after registering, the doubts and,
dare I admit it, the panic set in. What if I couldn't do this? What
if I failed? However, a stronger and more hopeful part of myself said
quite firmly: What if you can?
I spent the better part of October
plotting and planning and making preparations, which included writing
a blurb, synopsis and detailed outline. Details, people. I mean as
much information as I could include. Nothing was too small.
I developed a desktop filing system
where any ideas, bits of dialogue or scene ideas were kept in one
spot and waiting for me when I was ready to write them.
I've learned to write at least twice a
day, early mornings and late nights, in order to make sure I meet my
daily writing goals.
My organizational skills have improved,
even on the home-front, as I keep up with any and all outside
commitments (my daughter's ballet classes, PTO meetings, outings,
fundraisers, etc.) and adjust my schedule to accommodate writing time
so that I can meet daily word or page count goals.
Since November 1, All I've done is
write. No editing. No re-reading. Only writing. And I'm proud to say
I've written around 27,000 words.
So far, my experience has been a
positive one. I went from panic to excitement in just a few weeks.
Paradoxically, I've found a writing structure and freedom in this
challenge – and, for that, I am truly thankful.