I’m not even kidding myself about trying to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year.
Today, November 1st, kicks off NaNoWriMo, as it has annually for over twenty years now. The idea is simple; write a fifty-thousand-word novel in thirty days or less. Legend has it that Chris Baty, who originated the challenge of writing a new, whole novel in a single month, chose fifty-thousand words as a goal because it was about the length of The Great Gatsby. And, the whole idea was to dare himself to finally write that novel he’d been meaning to write, and get some of his friends motivated to make the same attempt. The idea grew from there.
I have made the attempt twice. One year I wrote several thousand words before I got bogged down and lost my way. I tried another year, but barely got started. I’ve been meaning to try again for several years, but I never seem quite prepared with an idea and the worldbuilding done before everything kicks off. That’s what happened again this year. I actually have several ideas and any of them might be good enough to actually turn into a short novel, but I got too busy this year with work and the pandemic and my father dying and passing a kidney stone to be prepared. Besides, while I have been writing regularly, I have not been writing fiction regularly, so I still feel very under-prepared to write the over fifteen-hundred words per day required to achieve the goal. So, I’m not going to even try this year. I will, however, try to spend the month getting as much of the worldbuilding done for one of the several ideas I have so that I can start writing stories in that world. And, in fact, I have the first story idea already in my pointy, little head. If things go well, I may write that by the end of the month. Or year. In any case, not a full-length novel, but maybe a short story. And, then, I’ll be able to write more stories throughout the year, essentially warming up for a novel next year. Maybe.
If you’re going to make the attempt, dear reader, I wish you well, and good luck!