NaNoWriMo?

Happy November! I can’t believe this year is nearly over. Only a few weekends left until Christmas! I have significantly less people to shop for this year, so hopefully that will go far towards making it The Most Wonderful Time of the Year instead of The Most Stressful Time of the Year. 😉

Have you ever heard of National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo, as it is affectionately known for short? It is a fun, misery-loves-company exercise in creative writing that happens each November The basic premise is that from November 1st – 30th, participants (and there are hundreds of thousands!) dedicate focused time and effort into writing a 50,000 word novel. NaNoWriMo believes that your story matters, and that the world needs your novel, and it is a wonderful way to jump-start the creative processes through fun competition.

I signed into my account at the beginning of the month and the little italics at the top of the page told me that I had been a member of NaNoWriMo for 13 years. Thirteen years! I’ve only participated for perhaps half of those, and I’ve finished with 50,000 words maybe half of that, but how in heaven’s name has it been thirteen years since I first came across it and wrote my first (terrible!) novel?

My girl Jacinta convinced me to join her in the challenge this year, and in a fit of recklessness and ambition, I actually agreed.

The truth is, I haven’t written fiction in years. Six or seven, perhaps. I’m just no good at it anymore, or perhaps it’s that it no longer holds the same appeal for me that it once did. It was always one of my childhood ambitions – to be a writer. I’m not sure if I wanted it so much because I loved writing, or because I loved books, or because so many of my friends wanted to be writers. I do have some modicum of talent in the area, at least I fondly like to believe so – but I am beginning to wonder if God has a different direction for me.

But I digress. I started off the month like a house on fire. Then I started losing momentum, realized I was stuck, and took a two-day writing break while my husband and I were road tripping together. Then I went back to the beginning and changed over my modern-day novella into a mid-Victorian historical. I was pretty excited about this, and completely caught up and maybe even surpassed my word count goals.

Now I’m stuck again. I utterly hate my heroine – you know, the biggest part of the whole story? I can’t relate to her at all, and that makes me hate writing her. I keep wanting to add secret depths to her, but right now that just isn’t who she is supposed to be, so I have to resist. And that makes me not want to write about her.

Jacinta, on the other hand – now I think she might have found her niche. She is posting her story publicly, and I for one am an absolutely riveted reader. I’m absolutely loving it! Go visit her website at A Walk In The Forest and check it out. 🙂

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