Gotta Love November

Posted on November 4th 2015 ⋄ By Sara Cleveland ⋄ Category: Writing

What is it about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? How is it that I can languish over 9000 words of a rough draft  for almost a year, yet in the space of two days in November I can magically crank out over 11,000?

Nothing changed. I don’t have any more or any less time to work on it. The plot didn’t suddenly become better or more interesting. My villain is still the same jerk I want to stab with a steak knife. And yet. And yet somehow the magic of the story I had thought long dead at the keyboard is once again alive and well.

There is something wonderful and invigorating about NaNoWriMo. Don’t ask me what it is, but it’s definitely there. Heck, I’m even writing blog posts again, and I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been on hiatus from that!

It could be the accountability of NaNoWriMo, both to yourself and to others. There’s just something about that little number on the top bar staring balefully at you that makes you want to make it bigger. There’s something immensely satisfying about watching the bars on the daily chart get taller. At least, I find it to be so. Then there’s your fellow writers. Sharing their counts with you and asking you about yours. Pushing you, encouraging you, making you insanely jealous when they reach 50k on the first day (*cough* Rose *cough*).

And it’s not just the word counts. There’s something powerful about the shared experience of doing something as crazy as writing 50,000 words in a month. Which I suppose really doesn’t seem like all that much at first. But when you think about all the other crap most of us have to do in a month. Work, school, karate, Thanksgiving, children, husbands, wives, pets, knitting club, watching the Browns loose… There’s a million other things for each of us that need doing just in the month of November alone.

Yet somehow we all find the time to band together at Panera or the library, or wherever else and write. And share. People from all sorts of different backgrounds, beliefs, politics, classes, races, genders (although I will say it seems the ladies do outnumber the men), and who knows what else are all tied together by this shared experience in November. And that’s pretty freakin’ cool if you ask me.

So as NaNoWriMo wears on I will continue to fight the good fight. Maybe Courting will get done this month. It’s certainly much further along than it was in October!

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