November was National Novel Writing Month and I took advantage of the celebration by writing 54,000 words of a brand-new manuscript. That makes me, officially, a NaNoWriMo winner, which is just a fancy way of saying I finished, completing at least 50,000 words in 30 days. I finished ahead of schedule, on November 20.
Everyone will tell you that the point of NaNoWriMo is not to write the best or most brilliant prose you’ve ever put on paper, or on monitor, depending on how and where you write. A good thing, that, because what I wrote in November was nowhere near the best work I’ve ever done. Everyone will tell you that the point is to get the job done, because editing, fleshing out, polishing, et cetera will come later.
November was a strange month. A hard month. There were days when I didn’t want to write at all, days when writing seemed like one more obligation, one more box to check on an already overwhelming and onerous to-do list. And then there were days when I was so grateful to have a creative outlet that my words poured out of me like tears. As I said, a strange month.
I didn’t go into NaNoWriMo with any expectations so I don’t know if I got the experience I was expecting. I don’t know if I’ll do it again. But writing 54,000 words about a young, female archaeologist who must confront a powerful and possibly ruthless Ocean City, Maryland real estate developer when the groundbreaking for his new luxury hotel reveals a site of staggering historical importance (take a breath!) was a wonderful distraction, a premise I didn’t see coming, and great fun.
Going from zero to novel in one month is possible, apparently. Messy, painful, difficult, and possible.
December is here. Onward and upward.