National Novel Writing Month, NANO as most people call it, is the time as an author when I challenge myself to stop looking at the quality of my writing and go for sheer word count. It is a two-fold challenge as the internal editor is screaming for me to quit using my favorite words and come up with something more original. I must quell this little voice, reminding myself that spell checking, grammar and punctuation are the enemy in this moment. There will be plenty of time to look back at what I’ve written and decide, what to keep, what to fix, and what to send to file 13.
NANO is all about the numbers, throwing a story together in 30 days with a minimum of 50K words. I know I can do it. I’ve done it before. The first novel I ever completed was 120K words in 30 days. I didn’t have the challenge of NANO to complete that project. No people in the back ground sharing in my pain, no cheering squad to keep me moving forward, just the characters in my head and on the page wanting to have their stories told.
I will not let the numbers deter me from my goal. I am committed to completing the challenge. Whether I spend my weekend doing marathon writing sessions or chip away day by day. There is a bit of joy and excitement that grows inside as I see the little word count bar tick up an inch or two. Marathon sessions or not the little graph is my best friend along with its partner the daily word count estimator to meet my goal. I will uses the tool and conquer the challenge.
With plan in place, not a first for me but not something I do every NANO, I anxiously await for November 1st so that I can one again embark on this journey. I am hopeful that my characters will walk with me on this journey whispering in my ear when they are ready to reveal new details. But I will not let those details bog me down. They have given me a foundation, the who, what, why, when and where. Now it is a matter of putting these things together and revealing how the individual lives of my characters are thrust into utter chaos and what they do to uncover the underlying truths.
Keep moving forward, one word at a time with commitment and determination to write that final line. Beginning to end so much in between, the story revealed in one bright shiny gleam. The numbers are true when the words start to come, with hopeful happy characters when the story is done.