Friday, October 2, 2009

Day -30 and counting

Time is buzzing right along. Yesterday the official NaNoWriMo site reset for the 2009 event. I signed up for the Springfield Missouri region as my home region because it's the closest to my home though I have a friend who is talking about heading up a region which is closer to where I live so if she does establish the new region, I'll be able to sign up there as my home region.

I was thinking yesterday about how I'm going to begin the novel. I had the ending determined about a month and a half ago but I just figured out exactly where to begin the book yesterday evening laying on my bed after a busy day at the computer.

Although I have an rough outline of my book, I'm familiar with my characters and setting, know the beginning of my book and where the book will end as well as having done a lot of research for the book.(It his a historical novel--there's a lot of research that goes into a historical novel.) I still say that I'm a technical virgin with this book because I haven't actually put any actual words of the story itself onto paper. That is where I draw the line. My husband suggested that I begin writing the novel on my word processing program then when November rolls around, that I transfer what I've already written onto the Nano page. I told him that I couldn't do that because that would be cheating.

'Oh, come on, Cyg, who would you really be cheating? Afterall, it's not like you're REALLY winning anything."

That's exactly why I'm not starting to write the book until November first. My true competition isn't with someone out there. My true competition is between me and the clock. My aim is to push my word count up to close to 2000 words every day for the entire month. I intend to write a chapter every day throughout the month. This process will instill in me the habit of writing close to 2000 words per day. Talk about a milestone in my writing career. I have a writing habit of writing most days including writing in this blog most every day. So writing close to 2000 words in a novel every day will enhance my writing by giving me a high word count to aim for which builds on those other habits thus making me even more prolific.

I challenge everyone reading this who has a desire to write a novel to give NaNoWriMo a serious effort even if you don't actually sign up at the website. Work on writing your novel during the entire month of November. Set yourself a word count that is higher than you normally do each day. Don't quit until you meet your quota. DO NOT EDIT. Just Write it. Do your editing in December and beyond.

This is what I actually did last year. This year is my first official NaNoWriMo. Lat year I worked on my book When God Turned his Head for the entire month. It was actually a project I had started before but hadn't pressed through to completion. National Novel Writing Month gave me that push to get it done. For several months after that I worked on editing and polishing and then in April I began to send it out to agents. The point is, I used NaNoWriMo unofficially as a catalyst toward catapulting my writing career.

I have read that an activity takes whatever time you give to it. It is possible to clean a house in 30 minutes and do a fairly good job or if you give the entire day to cleaning your house, it will take you all day. Your novel can take you a lifetime to create or it can take just a month. Which would you choose? I'd rather get it written in a month.

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