Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Do You NaNo?



I have this notebook I found. The first three pages are filled with handwritten words, the beginning of a story. A young girl is distressed as she watches her mother go into labor. The girl feels the pain of the contractions, sees the white-hot light that blurs her mother's vision.  As her father takes his laboring wife away, Grandmother comforts the little girl, trying to explain her gift. 

I don't remember when I wrote these pages. Worse yet, I have no idea where the story goes from there. I wrote it then left it to rot and spoil, to become a snippet of an idea, never able to grow or flourish.

This is how I wrote for many years. Sporadically, randomly. A poem here, a story there. I had no focus or structure. Admittedly, not having a computer or typewriter was a huge stumbling block. How all those authors wrote entire novels with a pen is beyond me. My carpal tunnel would never allow it.

My first book took me two years to write. I would work on it for a day or two, then tuck it away without a thought for weeks at a time. It wasn't a struggle. I shied away from a challenge and simply worked when I felt like it.

My second book took half that time. I would have a week of hard work, writing like a maniac.  Then, I'd put it aside, letting life distract me. The editing took another year. I'm a genius at procrastination.

When I first heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I thought it was outlandish. An entire book in 30 days?  Ridiculous.  But, in the year since then, my writing community has grown. I've 'met' so many other writers who have inspired me.  They are smart and talented and disciplined. They often take on challenges and conquer them.  I so want to be like them.

And, so, I'm doing it. I went on the NaNoWriMo site and signed up. I named my novel and uploaded a photo. It's official, I'm challenged. I'm hoping that this will inspire my writing, bring my talent into focus and help me jump those hurdles of self-defeat.

So, my question-- do you NaNo? Will you be taking on the challenge? I guess you can have writing buddies and I'd love to add you to my list (which is empty right now). Have you ever considered writing? Do you want a challenge? Come on! Who'll take the ride with me?


11 comments:

  1. Oh I'd love to Jewels, but I'm drowning right now with occasional illusions of a gasp of breath... too much schoolwork going on I can't even read, much less write. I too write (I'm ashamed to say) in that manner .. sporadically .. have since I can remember.. right now beside me there's a notebook with two most recent thoughts that I can't wait to expand on .. sometime .. soon? Will you forgive me? I hope you have fun this month!

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    1. No forgiveness needed. I know your plate is full. You do so much more at your age than I ever dreamed of.
      Keep those thoughts fresh, so you don't lose them like I did.

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  2. Yea for you!! I love your writing! And, no, I am not taking the challenge. I wish I was that kind of writer . . . but I'm just a silly girl with sillier thoughts! haha

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    1. I don't think you give yourself enough credit. You're a good writer. You never know, there may be a novel inside you, yet!

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  3. Sorry...not going to take the ride with you this year. (Hey...remember, it was last November during NaNoBloMo that we met!!) :) Even if I did have some great desire to write a book (someday, maybe) I am already rather swamped this November with music stuff. So instead of being a writing buddy, I'll be your biggest cheerleader!! (Yay Jewels! You can do it!!!) :)

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    1. Thanks for cheering me on, I'm certainly going to need it!

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  4. I'm doing NaNo! My writing habits are bad right now, too, so I hope that doing NaNo will force me into good habits, even if I suspect that what I write during that time won't be very good! I usually plan, plan, plan and I've run out of time to do that!

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    1. Yay for buddies! I'm hoping it will be a good stretching and growing exercise.
      (Someday, you'll have to teach me to be a better planner!)

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  5. Good for you! I've been NaNo-ing since 2004 and I love it every year! Good luck!

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  6. Yay go Jewels, go Jewels. Pom poms are out, but no I am not NaNoWriMo. Instead I have pledged to research and do the challenge when I feel more ready next year!

    I have however signed up to NaBloPoMo, Aaarrgghhhhh :-/

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  7. Wishing you the best as always, Jewels. I have toyed with this idea in years past even though I don't "do" fiction. This year I'm struggling with just staying afloat in ten thousand other ways, but I look forward to watching your progress. ;)

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