Yesterday I woke up and decided I was going to try National Novel in a Month and actually finish this year. NANO is a month dedicated to writing — no it’s dedicated to completing — a novel. You commit yourself to writing a 50,000 word novel from November 1 to November 30. That equates to 1,667 words per day. Not much right? I mean I write for a living and realized that yesterday I wrote and posted six blog posts and it only took me a few hours and that included research, linking and attributions. It was considerably more than 1,667 words. I can do this, right?
I have ideas rattling around in my head like tumbleweeds. I have my business book that has been there clawing to get out. The reason I haven’t started it? I don’t know. Fear. Not knowing exactly what that crucial first sentence will be. Not knowing if I have the right focus… you name it I have feared it. I have the title. I have an outline, why don’t I just do it? Maybe if I can get myself to finish a novel, I will. Here’s hoping.
As for the novel, I have started and stopped the same novel several times. I have had appointments with actual editors from publishing houses where I’d love to see my book accepted. The editors have given me positive feedback and requested the full manuscript. But have I completed it? Nope. It’s one of those things where I work on my novel then I think, “where the heck’s my subplot?” “do I have enough conflict?” “too much conflict” you name it.
With NANO the goal is to basically spew 50,000 words on the pages. You spend a couple of weeks before coming up with a skeleton plot and then once November 1 hits you sit and write. You turn off the internal editor and let the words flow. The inner editor will kill momentum and the novel writing process in general.
At the end of November the goal is a completed novel but more than that it’s the idea of having completed a novel. After you’ve done that, the theory is you will have a novel to go back, polish and perhaps even have a novel you could submit to an editor.
Yesterday’s kick off to the NANO event involved making a collage to help you visualize your work in progress. I’d never made a collage before and never imagined that making a visual would help me out. I’ve actually hung the collage above my desk and it appears to be helping me with keeping the story front and center. Who knows, maybe this year I will finish my novel. No, actually this year I WILL finish my novel and then I will move forward with my business book.
The power of positive thinking, right?