NaNo My Way (revisited)

It’s almost that time again for National Novel Writing Month. I think of this time with fondness, but am less fond of the fact that it always creeps up on me when I’m super busy. Last year, I thought my life was really busy, so was determined to do it my own way. This year, I’m even busier with distance learning and trying to potty train a toddler and, oh yeah, attempt preschool of some kind (she screams and runs away every time I mention it), but, still, there are thoughts of maybe…

Originally published November 6, 2019

I’m a reader and a writer. Or should that be a writer and a reader? My mom tells me I fell in love with books before I could read and that I used to sit outside and tell myself stories when I was 2, so it’s hard to know which one came first. But reading and writing so often go hand in hand. Every time I read a book, ten ideas manifest in my head. Someone help me…

I discovered National Novel Writing Month in 2007, when I was bored while studying abroad in Denmark because I did not relish wandering alone outside in the dark at 5pm. I needed something to keep me occupied when I’d finished all of my assigned readings. For the past 12 years, I’ve participated off and on. I’ve probably won and lost to equal degrees.

One thing I quickly realized was that my stories were much longer than 50,000 words, but, as soon as I hit that 50,000th word, I would completely run out of steam. After that, I refused to participate for a few years. Then I tried last year, but that was a disaster as my kids were toddlers and we were moving.

I’ve debated a good deal as to whether to try again this year. I thought maybe… Then my husband started a new, very demanding job and my son started Kindergarten and somehow I have about half as much time as I did before to even do my blogging. Well, it looked like this just wasn’t going to be a NaNo year for me. It really didn’t go well. I ended up with an infection about halfway through the month that made me really glad I hadn’t decided to go all the way through with it.

And indeed it isn’t. I’m a little sad I can’t join the ranks of all the lovely writers I’ve found here in the blogging community. I feel twinges of jealousy whenever I see a NaNo post. I so wanted to participate, and win because it’s been quite a while since I have! Eh, I still like the idea, but I’m not really into it anymore. Not when slowly plodding along for over a year on the same story works, albeit at a very slow pace. I swear Queen of the Garden of Girls will be over eventually. I’m making good progress! They finally had their first kiss…

Then I realized I still can, just in a different way. I can still write my novel during November, but instead of feeling the limitations I felt whenever I participated in earnest, I can do it my way. Yup, for well over a year.

Instead of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, my goal is to just write every day for 30 days. I read somewhere it takes somewhere around 60 days to form a habit, so I’m hoping to extend my own personal version of NaNo to 60 days, or until the end of the year, and simply write. It can be two words or it can be 5000 words (Ha! Like that’s going to happen to me.). But the point is to just write. And since Queen of the Garden of Girls is still an ongoing first draft that I’ve been posting here, it’ll ensure I will finish the story and post until the end. Haha! Oh gosh, was that what I was trying to write last November, too? Really, I swear I will finish this thing.

So, NaNo my way. It makes me happy.

To everyone participating, all the best of luck!

Check out my work in progress here!

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