WRITING A NOVEL IN NOVEMBER

National Novel Writing month kicks off November first and invites us to try to write  a novel in just 30 days. Someone else calculated and said that is 1677 words per day at a 50,000 word total. I’m absolutely certain this can be done.  Think about it, a couple of pages a day? And it doesn’t have to be about anything in terms of perfection or even in line with what you are writing. The hope would be that it is, but I already read where someone else said, face it, you will be writing a lot of garbage (or something to that effect).

Mom always said one man's garbage is another man's treasure. Moms are right (most of the time, LOL)

The reason I know for certain this can be done is because I once wrote one hundred and ten pages, a mini-novella if you would be so kind as to let me employ the term, in a Labour Day, yes, that’s right three day weekend. Unlike this coming November challenge, I will not be in a position to dedicate myself fully to the writing of a book as I was during those three days. Yes, it’s true, there is life beyond WordPress.com and I do have one, lol.

Okay, this may not exactly be a picture of MY life but I do have one... lol

Now, please understand that I am not in any saying what I wrote was good or publication worthy. It was not. It is still not. But it was one of the best experiences I have ever had in terms of challenging myself and proving to myself that I could actually write a longer work than a short story. The confidence gained from the act alone propelled me on to try further expanding my writing abilities, education and contests I would never before have even considered entering.

This title works for me. Don't know the video but I do know writing is a brain workout for me. Try it and see if it is for you, look up: NaNoWriMo

There is a strength born of discovering you can do something so well that you also discover you do not want to or cannot stop. I am not saying that I do it well in the eyes of the world and I am not saying that everything I produce is worth reading. If I ever reach that level of natural literary production, I’m sure you will find that for yourself.

In the meantime, I write on my blog, I write collections of short stories and I am working on my fifth book. Yes, fifth. Again, I do not say great, only my fifth book. The others I consider only fit for campfire starter but that’s quite okay. They were my learning ground and oh what learning ground they were. I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything. I would even celebrate by a book burning but I need them. They remind me of what not to do, lol.

In writing, you must simply commit yourself and be faithful to it. If you can’t, then it’s probably not the write activity for you. Even if you have a cause or a specialized topic and you find yourself nearly pulling your own teeth out just to produce for your pages, rethink the matter. Maybe you need more education.

Maybe you need more motivation.

Or maybe you just need to write MORE. Yes, I said write more.

Thinking too much just puts stuff in your own way... see man above if you don't believe me.

Writing more is the best, swiftest and possibly the only route I’ve ever known to writing better or producing more. Be prolific in producing without limitations or expectations of outcome. Be Doctor Seuss for few minutes or jump down the rabbit hole and chase after Alice for a while.  Like limbering up your body for exercise, your mind loosens as you try different things and write more, even if it’s only notes to friends who don’t really care that you’ve just dyed your hair blue. It really does not matter what you write. Writers write as my former Creative Writing Diploma program instructor, Ed Griffin, said.

So, NaNoWriMo approaches and there is angst among us as dense as the threatening chill of frost in the autumn air.

Who cares? Cut through it to the essence of who you are and what your abilities really hold for you in terms of gifts you did not know you had. You’ll do it. And if you do, I would be most honoured if you would share your results with me, I promise to read and tell you what I think (if you would really like to know that is, lol). No expert by any means, I am just another reading mind out here in the world of Jane and Joe Public with a lot of opinions roiling around in my head and new ones forming as I read and write more. What I know for sure is what moves  me. If you do that, I will tell you. If you don’t, I’ll be quiet. It’s kind of how I function here on WordPress.com. I don’t say much if I don’t mean it. You’ll get to know me if you move me, eventually, I hope, lol.

Even when it feels as though your head might explode or steam pour out of your ears, keep writing. It's your mind, use it. As David Icke said: Sheeple. You have a mind, use it or I will shave you and make a blanket. (I think that's what he said...well, I won't do that but it is funny and I do think for myself... I think...lol)

There is a magic in writing even when others say, ‘what a nice little hobby’ or ‘you need to get a real job’ that no one can take away from you. It is like birthing the most magical creation of your own essence, the very ethers of the self that no one else can ever see or speak to in the same way that you, uniquely do.  In writing more about whatever it is we write about, I believe from my own experiences, that we find ourselves writing more of whatever it is we personally choose to write about without very much conscious effort at all. It’s almost as though the writer in us takes over and we are no longer driving the body of ourselves and that’s okay. As long as your dinner is not on fire, the kids are okay and your day job isn’t leaving messages asking “where are you? it would be nice if you could show up for work today.”

Once you get those writing engines firing on all four cylinders, you'll be smokin' through your pages LOL

Consider this: you may spend an hour a day in front of a television or other machine communicating with people that don’t really need to hear from you today anyway. There is no emergency, they can wait. Well, there may be an emergency. If you don’t write, that is. Because your choice to stay on the couch or do computer chatter might cost you the precious time you could otherwise be writing through. Think about it, what is an hour a day? Not much, really is it? Well, it might be, if you don’t do it. Not only might the ERT have to save you from the bloat of your belly one day but the bloat of your mind might mean they never bring you home again. Okay. I know, I know, that was really very dramatic and entirely for effect but I do want to stress that, at the very least, if you want to write and just keep saying it, you are not going to be a happy camper and it has to show up somewhere.

The sun is going to shine again. It will also rise and set again. What will you be doing in between? One thing I'll be doing is writing, writing, writing...

Right now, the sun is shining, I should be out in it as the sun is falling in the sky. It will soon be dusk, then dark and I will have lost that warmth on my skin that I am thinking of even as I write this to you. But I would far rather take a walk under the stars than sacrifice the importance of writing. It’s a connection to myself, the purest, strongest and most joy producing connection I have. There is no meditation or exercise that produces the same kind of satisfaction or joy as a word well written in my world.

Speaking of exercise, I have a workout I want to get done today/tonight as well. Exciting Friday night, huh? Work out, walking and writing. Hey, the three WWW’s. I love it. My new blog title: WORKOUT WALK WRITE, but not necessarily in that order, lol.

It’s been a long couple of weeks and I’ve needed something to purge the resulting cobwebs from the nether regions of my mind and what do I happen across but this piece on WordPress.com about National Novel Writing month. Not only has it kick started my brain into thinking I just might try this challenge myself… whoa… wait… I am not there yet… just sayin’ Oh, I already know how those just sayin’ and other phrases annoy but if you can give me a better one that says what I mean more succinctly, I’ll use it.

When the body tires of being at the keyboard, get up, get moving. Find a gym. Even if all you do is sit outside looking in. (Joking, I was just "Seussing" you lol) Yes, Seussing, I just invented it but you know what I'm sayin' right lol

Here’s the kicker. Christmas is coming, everyone is busy, it’s uber study season once again and everyone has commitments out the ying yang. Myself included But it all starts with you. Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see” and I think it applies even on a simplistic level as much as it does to a ginormous (cliche/slang openly admitted here) social issue as it does in our personal goals and lives.

This was a tease. No not a tease, I am not a tease. I meant to say test. This was a test. If you are still with me,  I’ll thank you to leave that seat belt on for just a few more words from the pilot of this keyboard. Don’t worry, no emergency landing gear will be employed. It is all smooth sailing from here on out. Or should that read “down.” Yes, down, thank you, wordsters. We will proceed down in an orderly fashion and no stairs will be necessary as we will open the doors of the plane and you can simply slide into yourself at the bottom of the chute.

It’s your life, your pen/keyboard and your choice to enter the NaNoWriMo challenge or not.  Well, I ask you why not? I just wrote this in thirty five minutes completely unedited so forgive me any errors as I will not be correcting them but this is done to prove a point.  Partly to myself but also to everyone out there who doubts their own ability to produce anything worthwhile or even to dip one wary finger into the November novel writing challenge. Do it, please, you’ll see. The reason I know this is because I hadn’t a clue what I was going to say but I am already at 1670 words right now and more counting… I rest my case.

Why waste perfectly good words on inane computer chatter when you have a whole new place to put them? Out here for all of us to see, hey, we're crazy enough to do it, why can't you? lol

If I can free fall like that with no net to catch me for all the world to see and not care about my mistakes, my winding prose that may actually wind some eyes, you can do it. See, now at 1727. I’m off to take my walk now, the sun is still here. Then my hour workout, then I might do another word workout of half an hour later tonight. This was a great test, I really enjoyed it and hope you got something out of the read. You can do the November Novel because even if you don’t succeed in finishing or drop it part way through, at least you tried. Better to have tried than nothing at all.  OH! I guess I have a new blog to open now, too, lol… (1833 words already, lol)

Well, folks, ya' better get a wiggle on 'cuz the calendar is ticking now!

What are you waiting for?

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38 thoughts on “WRITING A NOVEL IN NOVEMBER

  1. I am doing NaNo this year! I decided last week and signed up. I have a fancy word count widget on my blog and wrote a post about it, asking for people to join me. I’ve never done it before but I figure it’s a perfect opportunity to back up my “I know I have a novel in me” claim.

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo before this year. Isn’t it funny how something you “discover” suddenly turns up everywhere? Kind of like seeing the car you just bought, or are considering buying, everwhere you go. Sorry, I’m rambling. I tend to do that which I guess is an asset if I want to “win” NaNoWriMo. :-)

    • That’s awesome, Erin, I’m sure it will be great reading, looking forward to it :) I have to admit, I really am not sure I can do it (time constraints/travel/etc) but I’ll at least start it … then I’ll probably at least finish it someday even if I don’ t by end of Nov. Nothing like laying yourself out there online like that, is there, lol

  2. I was thinking of doing NaNo this year but am going to be travelling for two weeks out of that month…I wonder it I could still do it…I will have to think about it and maybe give it a try…for sure I need a challenge…

    • Would love to see your work on this one, Sylvia! Why don’t you consider taking the challenge anyway and finish when/if you can. I have to take it that way or I will just feel too pressured about the whole thing. So I tell myself I must only try, make the effort and if it’s meant to be, it will unfold easily. Otherwise, I’ll just finish as and when I can.

  3. Nice!! I’m sure you’ll be able to meet the challenge :)
    I remember when I wrote a fanfiction of about 173 pages when I was 11-12 because I was obsessed with Harry Potter LOL and it was an awesome experience!

    • Now, why I am I not surprised that you wrote about 173 pages when you were only 11-12??? You definitely have a writing gift, MD, so glad to be on the journey with you growing your innate talent for words and literature. If you ever feel brave enough to share, let us know. For sure a bunch of us from the Crazy Chicks Club would love to see anything YOU write :) Thanks for the confidence, hope I can do half as well as you did!

  4. I saw that notice yesterday. I don’t think I’m going to do it. I already write every day, lol. I haven’t decided yet. I already opened up my new blog for when I’m back in Canada and have my first post written, but just saved in the drafts section. So yeah, not sure yet, lol. But hey! Good luck with you! I know when I let myself go I just ramble on and on and on, so I think physically I could actually do it and I know garbage is expected, but….We’ll see.

  5. I’m so proud of you, Janice. Go for it!

    I’m not ready. I’ve got this little thing called my life story that I’m trying to spill out of me on this blog and somehow find time to do other things in my life. Once that is done, then I have to take what I’ve created here, fill in details that I’ve left out and turn it into a real manuscript.

    I’m so committed to finishing this that, which this challenge sounds both doable and interesting, I can make it my own challenge any month of the year WHEN this prject so dear to me is finished.

    • I know what you mean, Lorna, I’m still kind of toying with the idea but I’ll probably at least try, just to see what spills forth. I may well live to regret it and so may all of you who have to read it, LOL But I totally understand when you are commitment full and can’t take another one on, even if it’s just to wash your hair (I recently did not wash my hair for a whole week, I cannot believe I just said that in public… oh well… there are worse things, I’m sure but yes, enough is enough and when you have enough to do, you don’t need more or the great stuff gets watered down. Not that I could see that ever happening with anything you do, but why spread yourself thin for something that isn’t as meaningful as what you already have going on. With ya, sistah :)

  6. Pingback: Hush Little Voice! Hush! « Vintage Vicki

  7. Good luck! I’m sure you can do it. In fact, I’m sure I can do it, too. I’m not ‘taking the challenge.’ I’m just taking the hint that it can certainly be done. I was so excited by the possibility of finally getting my novel in order that I started immediately. As a matter of fact, I started yesterday. I’ll keep going until it’s finished – good, bad or indifferent! Again, very good luck to you. I know you can do it in one month. For me, it might take slightly longer, but at least I will gain the discipline of writing daily, something I very desperately need!

    • Thank you for your kind words of support… we shall see, I will try. Wishing you all the best if you give it a whirl… who knows where it may lead you if you do… the world is a funny place that unfolds as it should, it might prove to be the best work of your life! Or at least the basis for what proves to be the best work of your life. As for writing daily, just think aloud. It’s what I do and it seems to work okay for me. I can’t say everyone will like what I think but that doesn’t matter. They are entitled say what they think and all feedback is good in my world. It grows us in some way or other. Hope you get your daily “write on”! Thanks for swinging by :)

  8. Pingback: Finding Time to Write | Jennifer M Eaton

  9. I started my blog in WordPress just recently sometime October 15,201. I may be late in reading this post and the event you’ve talked because its dated Sept. 30, But I still feel very lucky to have found your blog. This post gives me an inspiration to pursue my love int writing, especially when I read these lines you’ve written here that I have to quote it here:
    “There is a magic in writing even when others say, ‘what a nice little hobby’ or ‘you need to get a real job’ that no one can take away from you. It is like birthing the most magical creation of your own essence, the very ethers of the self that no one else can ever see or speak to in the same way that you, uniquely do. In writing more about whatever it is we write about, I believe from my own experiences, that we find ourselves writing more of whatever it is we personally choose to write about without very much conscious effort at all. It’s almost as though the writer in us takes over and we are no longer driving the body of ourselves and that’s okay.” I really like this one. You just said it right because, this is really true. It’s what I felt too when I am writing even it’s only my hobby, but it’s my passion to write since I was 12.
    English is my second language, so my grammar and my sentence construction etc. are not always correct. So I find difficulty with this but I know that I have a lot to say and to write because when I start to write words just keep on flowing, and then only
    to find out later that there are lots of grammar and sentence error… hehehhehe
    Well I am just happy to have met you here. I am not giving up to write my first book one day.
    Now that I met some people like you, I will just keep on writing until I get there.
    Thanks so much :)

    • Thank you for visiting, I am so glad to inspire you in any small way. It’s funny when I am writing, I am in another zone and when you included an excerpt of my own work, I first thought I was reading your words, I was reading so fast (“There is a magic in writing even when others say, ‘what a nice little hobby’ or ‘you need to get a real job’ that no one can take away from you. It is like birthing the most magical creation of your own essence, the very ethers of the self that no one else can ever see or speak to in the same way that you, uniquely do. In writing more about whatever it is we write about, I believe from my own experiences, that we find ourselves writing more of whatever it is we personally choose to write about without very much conscious effort at all. It’s almost as though the writer in us takes over and we are no longer driving the body of ourselves and that’s okay.”)

      Then I realized it was me! My words. That was a happy surprise as are you in my writing community here!

      Nevermind grammar and sentence errors, often those things come only with time no matter the education we may have on paper. Know that what you have to say is the important factor and if you say what you mean to, people will understand it just fine. I believe we are not here to criticize but encourage (even though, yes I am a reactive human who has rant-natured works here as well, like I said, I’m only human, I offer no other excuse if being human is actually an excuse).

      Never stop writing, there are any number of people who will be all to ready to criticize and almost none of them ever brave enough to commit themselves to a path of creativity in life. Aren’t the arts wonderful? There is a spiritedness of connection among us that does not make us elite (as many who have been long in the trenches would have us believe) but unites us in our quest to beautify, change or share with the world our inner selves through self expression. Write On, brave woman! PS Have you seen Lafemmeroars page with the Crazy Chicks club? I think you’ll like it, check it out :)

      “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”
      – Maya Angelou

      • Thanks so much for all of these encouragement you just said. I am really grateful!
        And I did checked out Lafemmeroars with CCC and I joined the club. I hope I will be accepted, hahahha
        See you around :)

      • Awesome! My pleasure to help in any way I can but it’s you who will be doing all the hard work :) For sure, will see you around and thanks again for visiting my pages!

  10. Did you do it?? I’d love to know how many people got it done. I absolutely know I couldn’t, and so admire those who try.

    • No, Noleen, I confess, I could not with all I have had to contend with these past months. But I am excited for those who did and looking forward to hearing about their successes. May try next year, we’ll see, with you on the admiration factor, kudos to anyone who even tried, that alone is success!

      • Ugh & buggar! Isn’t it just too hard – life & writing? Imagine if we could just write … but then no, it wouldn’t be balanced. It would be unsociable, we wouldn’t be contributing to society (well, if we weren’t published!) and so on. We gotta do this life thing and I completely understand it got in your way.

        But you are heaps braver than me. I just didn’t even try, knew I couldn’t. You TRIED. And yes that alone is success. Congrats! :)

      • You said it best, “Heaps are braver than me.”

        So true, Noleen. I confess I did not really try but only “started” to try, if that makes any sense. Then became so overwhelmed (dealing with so much personally past few months), I simply had to let it go and aim for next year. However, Beautywalk, Evilnymph and MomFog (all on my front page blogroll) did it and Erin (Momfog) won an award. Others completed as well and I so admire them and apologize that I cannot remember all their names just now but invite them to leave their link if they wish to share.

        Maybe next year for me, Noleen. Life does get in the way, lol. Thanks for your lovely wishes anyway and right back at you for Writing On in your own unique way :) :) :)

  11. Pingback: Shorts of Sorts: Short Story 1: Rethinking Blue « Revelations in Art

  12. Pingback: Short Story 1: Rethinking Blue « Revelations in Art

    • Mark! What a bright light you have cast on this otherwise dreary rainy day! Thank you for taking time to visit and drop this heartening comment. I don’t know how you found me but I hope to see your pages soon! Thanks again :)

Love and peace to you... your thoughts are always welcome here...

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