It’s mid-October and some of my associates are considering NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month. Last year I managed to convince myself that shadowing the NaNoWriMo contest concept was for me. I would write a novel in the month of November. 50,000 words. It could be done but it certainly takes focus and dedication – every writer needs both.
I found this essay written at that time.
Slugging it through this misbegotten project has been hard. Plain and simple, I’m not cut out to write a novel. This is not my Moby Dick. A novel is not this writer’s Holy Grail. But I’m not ready to quit the project yet. I committed myself for the month of November and I will stick it out. I knew that going in, and made the public declarations of intent that would force me to keep this promise. If nothing else, I thought, I would learn something in the process. In short, I have to dig deeply into my bag of tricks. Long view, I have to find the elements of success that I will take forward. I am learning how to push through some of my stall points. I am adjusting my goals to accept those stall points, or to challenge them. I am slugging it through. I’ll report my December 1st evaluation. Then I’ll go back to short stories, my first love.
This year, again, I attempted a large book project – non-fiction and via the blog method. It definitely was a challenge. Liz’s Lymphedema Logbook is the result. It’s smaller than I first envisioned. It was harder to write than I first thought and it certainly took longer than a month. But I made it through and I discovered more writer stamina, and strengthened my tenacity. I know more about commitment and organizing my time and energy for a project. I could maybe consider attempting a novel. However, I still love my short stories, so no NaNoWriMo for me this year. But the best of luck to anyone participating.