Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Welcome to Blognowrimo!

8:00 AM Posted by Tara No comments
I first heard about Nanowrimo in 2006, but it wasn't until the following year that I convinced myself to give it a try. I scribbled down a plot, roughed out some characters, and imagined what my novel would look like sitting proudly on bookstore shelves. On November 1, I sat down to write. And... I couldn't.

You see, I hadn't yet discovered that every writer's worst enemy is their inner editor—the cruel and critical voice of their fear of failure. Mine pounced on me as soon as it had a chance. It whispered doubt and disappointment in my ear every minute of the hours I struggled to write a worthwhile first page. It taunted me. It ridiculed me. And after only a day's effort, I gave in, and gave up. What was I thinking? I couldn't write a novel! Not in thirty days! I put my woeful attempt away, and tried to forget about the whole sorry episode.

By the time autumn rolled around again, my life was at its lowest point, and Nanowrimo offered the perfect escape. I got excited about something for the first time in a long time, and I threw myself into it.  I couldn't wait to start writing. And this time, I didn't stop. This time, the joy it gave me was great enough to drown out my inner editor. Sure, I still worried that I was writing garbage (and looking back, I absolutely was), but it didn't matter. I was writing. I was creating. I was solving problems and overcoming obstacles. I was discovering what I was capable of. I was doing something I loved to do.

And I realized: that's what Nanowrimo is all about.

Just like the hero of any good story, by the end of my journey, I was changed. I had proven to myself that I could do this impossible thing. I could write a novel—or at least, 50,000 words of one. Maybe it wasn't a great novel. Maybe it wasn't even good. But my success in writing it promised that if I committed myself to a goal and worked hard to achieve it, I could.

Since 2008, I've participated in Nanowrimo every year but one. I've written more than a quarter million words, thirty days at a time. I've taught myself more about writing than I'd ever imagined there was to learn. And yet there is still so much more to write, and so much more to learn.

This year, I wanted to do more. I wanted to give something back to the community that has given me so much. My region already has a municipal liaison, and I've already made a monthly donation pledge to Nanowrimo. What else do I have to offer? Experience. I can share some of what I've learned over the last seven Novembers with you. Thus, Blognowrimo!

Throughout October, I'll be sharing guides to help you prepare for Nanowrimo, covering such topics as pantsing versus planning, outlining your novel, and reaching that lofty goal of 50,000 words. In November, I'll offer tips on how to overcome each week's unique challenges. I'll also be blogging about my own noveling experience throughout November, as I write the second draft of The Broken Brick Road, the novel I began last year.

Come back on October 1 to start getting ready for the wonderful and whimsical adventure that is Nanowrimo. The world needs your novel!

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