Okay, it’s possible a crazier statement has never been made. But just hear me out. Yes, I know November is miserable. It’s dark before you get home from work, it’s dreary, it’s cold, and if you live on the "wet" coast, you’ve officially turned into a wrinkled prune and commercials for tropical beach resorts actually make you weep just a little bit.
If you’re a writer, it’s also the craziest, most stressful, most rewarding month of the year. It’s the month where writers around the world go a little cray-cray and neglect their families, their exercise routines, and their personal hygiene just to write ONE. MORE. WORD.
It’s NaNoWriMo, ya’ll! (Um, yeah, I’m Canadian—I don’t know where that came from). National Novel Writing Month is that crazy time of year where people far and wide compete to write a novel (or fifty thousand words of one if you’re stupidly verbose, like me) in a single month.
That’s a lot of words. Trust me. It really cuts into the Facebook time.
Last year, I was struggling through the first twenty thousand words of The Faithful's sequel. I’d been researching and hemming and hawing for months and months, really just being completely unproductive. NaNoWriMo saved my lazy ass. There’s nothing like a bit of competition and accountability to get those fingers flying across the keyboard, and I somehow managed to bang out fifty-five thousand words during that month. It got me over the hump, and I completed the first draft in December. NaNoWriMo forced me to get out of my own way. To shut down my prissy little internal editor and just bloody write.
Fast-forward a year. I’ve been hemming and hawing and doing my research for a new detective novel about a family of four who goes missing, and I’ve only managed about fifteen thousand words. But fear not! November was nigh, and I knew I could bang out most of this novel during one crazy month. So I nagged and cajoled my writer friends into joining me on this no-time-to-bathe adventure, because everything is better when you’ve got friends along for the ride, right?
And here we are, twenty-four thousand words written in the first twelve days, and counting …
It leaves me with one question: Why oh why can’t I find this kind of momentum the other eleven months of the year?