I’d seen the word, the name, but knew nothing about it. It was a mention on another author’s blog—+MJ Bush, I think—that caused me to look at what it is; what NaNoWriMo meant.
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual writing challenge. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel—or 50,000 words of a novel— in only 30 days. It seems like a tall order to average 1660 words a day. Being cripplingly introvert, my normal instinct is to close the door quietly and leave. However, something piqued my interest, and I read-on.
Public challenges and competitions are not my thing at all, but as I read more about the NaNoWriMo, I realised that it coincided with what I was going to be doing in November anyway. I hadn’t set a target of 50k words, or any target, but I did have an outline of a book in my head that I wanted to jam out by the end of the year. So why not use this challenge and try to get 50k words in a month.
As I read a few more posts and comments, I realised that I had taken up much tougher challenges in the past. Not writing challenges, but personal challenges that usually involved wind, and lots of salt water. I recognised other sailing parallels, such as the planning and preparation stage, laying in supplies and drawing up watch schedules. Expectations of outcome and arrival. I have no need of supplies, or schedule. The expectations are between me and my harshest critic.
I signed up, sat back, and thought.
Then I wrote the last page of the novel that had been sloshing around in my thoughts for the past two weeks. I added a paragraph, and called it a prologue. Now all I have to do is create the MC, and let him find his way to that final page.
Tomorrow the challenge begins, but today, just as before going to sea, it is a day of relaxing and quiet contemplation.