NaNoWriMo is just over 52 hours away as I write this. I’m incredibly excited. I’ve only done this once before, in 2006, and it was a blast. If you’ve never tried it, the point is to get as many people together around the world as possible to support each other as they each try to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. That’s only 1,668 words a day, 30 days in a row, doesn’t seem all that impossible.
It’s every bit as hard as it sounds. In ‘06 I started off strong, over 3,000 words the very first day, but I hit a wall about midway into week 2, completely blocked and miserable. I fought back, and squeaked in on the very last day, finishing with less than 51,000 words by midnight, November 30. It’s tough, but I’ve never had so much fun writing.
The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that you have to turn off all your internal filters. You just write, no time for second guessing or wondering if it’s good enough. Paradoxically, this often leads to amazing breakthroughs as your inner voice shines through without having all the magic wrung from it by your conscious filter. My ‘06 project was a Mars novel, and I wrote some amazing things that eventually I’d like to revisit and make into a publishable book (at the very least, add in all the punctuation I left out because I was typing too damn fast).
This year is Ghost Ronin, the final version of what my longtime readers have seen as In Shining Armor. I’ve changed a lot of the story, brought it kicking and screaming into the Post-Dubya 21st century, and I expect a wild ride. A nanotechnologically enhanced Army Ranger turned Zen assassin fighting to save the world. Yee ha.
And of course, because I can’t do anything the quiet, simple and easy way, in addition to making my daily word counts and holding down my day job, I’ll be blogging about the whole experience here. I don’t know if I’m going to have time to keep up the frequency of posts on technology and politics, my other two passions, but if writing’s your thing, I hope the pages of this blog will be both entertaining and instructive throughout November. And I invite you to join me. If you’ve ever thought about writing a novel, even if just to see if you can do it, this is your chance. Head on over to the official National Novel Writing Month website for all the deets, and I’ll see you back here to start the adventure in just a few days.