Sunday, November 22, 2009


Which is...? you might ask...well, I haven't developed tourettes, nor am I speaking of some new SoHo-esque neighborhood in New York City.

What it is is a creative project that is currently taking over my life, and giving me a much more productive and interesting November than usual.

Or, more specifically: National Novel Writing Month. Wikipedia describes it as a "creative writing project held annually in November in which participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in one month." Or as found on the official NaNoWriMo website: "a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved."

That's me! For years, I've thought (more than fleetingly) about writing a book. But it always seemed too daunting and I would inevitably lose steam about a page or two in.

So here's the story on how I came to be one of the 140,000+ participants of NaNoWriMo this year: while in Hawaii I realized how incredibly tired I was. Totally emotionally depleted. The wedding planning certainly contributed, but I traced it back even further. Back to before I was even engaged. October of 2008 to be exact. The start of the vocal performance class is where the exhaustion began. I didn't realize how much energy it took out of me until I got some distance. Like 5,000 miles of distance complete with Mai Tais and palm trees. That class kicked. my. butt. And stretched me in ways I'd never been stretched before (which is a good thing). But. Exhausting. Every week I went I was scared. Terrified actually. And fear takes a lot out of a gal.

The class then turned into those long, late night rehearsals which then led to a ten day run of the show. All really, really good stuff that filled my heart at the time (you can read me raving about it here), but still -- wore me out like no other.

And so, while on our honeymoon, I decided that, though I might find myself back in that arena one day (I'm certain the itch will return soon) I needed a little break for now...felt the need to focus on my more quiet artistic desires. The one that kept nagging at me during the honeymoon was writing. Fiction, specifically. Writing a book is something that has been on my List Of Things To Do In Life for the last decade or so, but, like a lot of artistic ideas I've had, I've never done anything about it. In Hawaii though, my brain was suddenly flooded with story ideas, and as I listed them all out in my journal one afternoon in our hotel room in Maui, I thought, this feels more real than usual. I think I might *actually* do this!

Fast forward a few weeks to October in New York when I found out about NaNoWriMo from a friend. All of these story ideas in my head and suddenly a challenge to write an entire novel from start to finish between November 1-30? It all seemed quite serendipitous. This was my chance to actually put into action what I said I was going to do! And it gave me two very important things: a goal (50,000 words in 30 days) and support (me and all the other of thousands of participants this year receive tons of email pep talks and have forums to turn to for inspiration & support).

So...I signed up and I dove in on November 1st! And I've actually been quite surprised with myself throughout the process. So far, I have kept a good pace and am about 35,000 words in now. 35,000!! It's a bit ol' mess but that's okay. For now, it's words on a page. I'll focus on the clean-up later.

I've learned a lot about myself and the writing process over the last 22 days, things I'd like to share on here, but I will wait and do that in another post...this is getting a little lengthy and it's time to get back to work :)

1 comment:

Anna said...

Yay! I'm so glad you're doing it! At the beginning of the month I remembered you were supposed to be participating and wondered if you were, but I've never actually checked in with you to see the reality. Glad it sounds like it's going well! hugs :)

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