It took me years to get up the courage to commit to doing NaNoWriMo. When I finally did commit, I had a one-year-old baby at home. I had started to feel like the writer in me was buried under the piles and piles of laundry and diapers. I wanted to dig her out. So I talked it over with my husband, who was completely supportive, and I signed up. And I won!
That was in 2009. I still think that novel is awesome. Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s flawed nearly beyond salvage, but the idea at it’s core is solid. Between then and now I stumbled across the idea of main characters having a goal. Eureka! The notion that my characters could actually work toward something instead of bumping around their inhabited worlds like pinballs, reacting to one thing and another totally revolutionized my writing. Hey, I was sleep deprived, don’t judge me.
This is the time of year when the NaNo haters come out to … You know, I don’t know what they do. They just vehemently hate NaNo, and as soon as I realize it, I stop reading. Because really, there are worse things in the world to get your knickers in a twist over than people coming together for one month each year to devote themselves to their art. Or their dream. Or their hobby. Or just to a single idea that they can’t shake. What’s wrong with that? People coming together in favor of anything these days is a win in my book.
I won’t be doing NaNo this year, and I am no end of sad about it. But I’ve got these revisions, then more revisions, then the marketing dance, and then I’m going to try that outlining thing I’ve heard so much about for my next book in the series. But I’ll be here to cheer on all the other brave souls writing with abandon this month. And I’ll still check in at the NaNo site because the pep talks are amazing.
NaNoWriMo 2009 was the first time I set a writing goal for myself that I actually reached. It was the first time I gave myself permission to own my inner writer. It was the very first time I made my writing a priority. Kind of an important thing for me right now, wouldn’t you say?