Thursday, December 1, 2011

Try This Thursday

A few weeks ago before work, I found myself drawn to an article on MSN regarding Sagittarius and how the sun was going to be shooting through the moon...or something. As a Sagittarius, I felt obligated to read on and see what was in store for me. Let me be the first to say that I have never put much weight on star signs or astrology, I have found them to be cool coincidences when it tells me I'm bluntly honest or a creative person. However, this article described me to a T, so much so that I still remember it weeks later.

At first, the fact that it told me I hated routine felt a little weird. Sure, I hate monotony at work but at the same time, knowing as soon as I get home there's a dog walk and a workout session followed by a shower and dinner waiting for me, is kind of comforting. I then proceeded to the next tidbit, something about finding my passion in writing and letting my "creative spirit" reign that I related to. It wasn't until the end, when it told me that the most compatible friends are fellow Sags and Gemini's that I gave the article any real weight. My best friends are those and the more I thought about what I had just read, the more I realized it was true.

Long story short, the article mentioned something about a 'try this Thursday' with the idea being that you try something new and different every Thursday. Well, I have decided to share that idea with you, my readers, and do my best to write about something new for you to try every Thursday. This week, it's NaNoWriMo. What is that, you ask? What a great question!

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, takes place every year during the month of November. It's "30 days and nights of literary abandon" in which participants write their own 50,000 word novel. I fell into it last year after a friend tweeted about doing it (thanks Amanda!) and loved the challenge of it. However, I was unable to finish and only got about 20,000 words in before finals and presentations took over my time. So, around August of this year, I begin to realize NaNoWriMo is soon approaching and I will be able to participate. My anticipation builds until November 1st arrives when I realize I had put very little thought into my novel. I started to write one and decided to scrap it; it was too similar to other stories I had started and abandoned. Instead, I went with an idea that I had had for over a year and thought was fresh and original, at least to me.

So the writing began, feverish and excited at first before falling victim to weekends. I found myself spending the first part of the weeks catching up on writing I fell behind on the weekends and congratulated myself when I caught up (only to fall behind again). As a writer, I went into NaNoWriMo thinking, 50,000 words in 30 days? Easy peesy mac 'n cheesy. Boy was I wrong. I didn't realize just how time consuming it would be to make sure I wrote the minimum of 1,667 words a day while still doing things I needed to and maintain a social life. But, if writing a novel in 30 days weren't a challenge, no one would do it.

I spent last night catching up on the 4,000 words I was behind and I realized the best part of National Novel Writing Month. You have a goal, you have a plan for your book and you embark on this journey, but the days speed by faster than you expect and before you know it, you are writing a book from instinct, first thought. I threw away the idea that everything needed to sound perfect and fit just right, and instead, I wrote. I wrote the first thing that came to mind and the first thing that made sense for the characters I created and because of that, I'd like to think the story is more realistic and relatable. I wrote the last words of my novel, ending at 50,175 and knowing I would have to edit and add in the coming months, last night at 10 and felt euphoric. I honestly could not believe I had finished my novel in a mere 30 days.

If you're a writer, I would absolutely recommend and encourage you to particpate in NaNoWriMo next year. They have local hangouts for you to go and write in and come spring they even do a screenplay writing month! If you're not a writer, I say why not go for it? Try and write a 50,000 word novel or heck, even half of that is one hell of an accomplishment. It's one of the most rewarding experiences I've had that has allowed me to not only learn about myself, but escape to a place where I control what happens (a little bit of a God complex, huh?). If this incredibly long entry has left you intrigued, I highly recommend you check out for more information.

So get ready, no more novel to write (on a deadline, that is) means the blog posts will be back with a vengeance. I know you all have missed me ;)

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree, right now I'm writing a paper that isnt for fun. I haven't written a long paper for a class since sophomore year and now as a 1st year graduate student, im thrown into writing a 1 page term paper. I can only imagine how difficult it is to write a novel but it sounds like something to try next year.
    PS Woot to being a fellow Sagittarius!