By we, I mean the 100,000 of us (yours truly included) who are doing NaNoWriMo, known as National Novel Writing Month. By the time the last of the Thanksgiving turkey is eaten, there could be 100,000 new novels in the world. Imagine the possibilities of that! (Most likely, there will be closer to 20,000, given the percentage of people who actually finish.)
I’ve never done anything like this before, at least not as an adult. When I was 15, I entered a novel writing contest for teenagers. I can still remember working at my mom’s office, typing away on one of her co-worker’s electric typewriters. Most likely she typed more than one page for me, too.
There were two lessons that I carry with me from that contest (which I didn’t win … obviously). One was the power of someone (my mom) believing in me … and my Dad too, because I am pretty sure he was still alive when I wrote that book. The second was that I have the capability to do this.
I don’t know if I will cross the finish line and reach 50,000 words (the equivalent of 175 pages). I don’t know if this story is remotely interesting. There are a million reasons that I could give to talk myself out of this. November’s one of the busiest months of the year for our family, for starters, as well as at work. My life is a little different now at 40 than it was at 15.
I look for inspiration everywhere, and there is some inspiration to be had in others. I love that bestselling author Sara Gruen’s novels (including Water for Elephants, which I absolutely loved) were both NaNo novels. I love that my blogging friend, author Karen Harrington, shared that both of her novels also had their beginnings as NaNo novels.
For years, I have always included “write a novel” on my list of things I really wanted to accomplish someday.
Someday is here.