This is to let you know that I’m going dark for a month.
I’m doing NaNoWriMo with my writing group this year. And not a modified NaNo like I’ve done in the past. An actual NaNo, where I’m going to try to complete a messy, sloppy bare bones first draft of a novel in thirty stupid short days.
I know I’ve criticized NaNoWriMo before, more than once, and I still have my reservations. I still think November is the absolute stupidest time of year to do this. I can already count three to four days of the month where I will not be able to write anything — maybe two hours total on all those days? — due to the responsibilities of family and Thanksgiving. And every day that November has crept closer, another activity or responsibility or task or SOMETHING has come up that simply HAS TO BE DONE in November. I don’t know how I’m going to do it.
But I’m doing it.
First of all, I love my writing group. We all support each other so much, and give each other so much, that I really want to be part of this. I want to do this with them.
Second, I need to get cracking on whatever the next novel is going to be. I’ve completed revisions to KATE and I’m at the point of querying again, so I need to move on. I’ve been tinkering with an adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing” (but is the story too well known?) and contemplating what I’d love to do with “Twelfth Night” (the subplot, with those dopey, drunk knights? Funny in the play, hellacious to put into the real world). But it’s time to put my money down, take my hands away, and let the roulette wheel spin. Move forward. Commit. NaNo is a perfect vehicle to remove all thought, all doubt, all internal monologue from the process. One play, one manuscript, one month to complete it.
And it’s not so far-fetched. I completed the first draft of KATE in three months. This is the same thing, just a little more compressed.
All I’m going to do is get the bare bones of the story — the scenes from the Shakespeare play that I know I’m going to keep — down on paper. My own scenes, extra characters and subplots, themes, imagery, pretty language… all that can come later when I have time. This is a very limited proposition, and 50,000 words isn’t that much to someone like me, who has written hundreds of thousands of words in her lifetime.
What I’ve found really interesting is how this decision has already focused and energized me. With the clock ticking and the days flying, I started working harder and more efficiently. I knocked things off my “to do” lists. I cranked out the stuff I needed to get out of the way before November 1st so that when it comes, I can focus with laser attention on this one thing. I’m excited and energized at the prospect of this challenge instead of being intimidated or self -doubting.
These are all good things.
For the month of November, unless I have some mind-blowing revelation that I have to share, there will be no blogging. No Facebook, except as a reward for completing a word count goal. Ditto Twitter, except for motivation and Twitter-sprints. No reading, which is going to kill me, and I’m sincerely hoping that my library hold on Robin LaFever’s new book does not come through until December. Laundry and cooking will still be done, so my children, you can breathe easy, although those Christmas “I owe you…” coupons you’ve been giving me for the last few years? Expect them all to be cashed in.
It will be quiet around here for a month. See you in December when I’ll report back (and make it snow).
P.S. If you’re doing NaNo too, find me and become my writing buddy (I’m mfantaliswrites). Let’s do this together!