Last November (2012) I happened across NaNoWriMo - the National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) - which occurs in November every year.
While I have always wanted to write, and had attempted it many times over the years, I had never managed to complete anything I had started - except my blog posts. ;)
The premise of NaNoWriMo, for those of you have not heard if it before, is to write a 50k word novel in 30 days. That might sound like a lot, but it isn't nearly as much as you might think. It equates to something like 1667 words per day. Basically, a long blog post.
I thought, why the heck not? The worst that can happen is that I don't complete it, right? So I signed up. I had a vague story idea in mind, but no real plan. I sat down on November 1st and began to write the story that I'd been toying with. I didn't get far before the story took over and changed direction completely.
Once that happened, I loved it. I didn't plan the words that flowed out of my fingers onto the keyboard. Every morning I got up and couldn't wait to sit down with my laptop so I could find out what would happen next. I had no idea where I was going with it. It was as exciting as reading a great new book for me.
I had always thought that I had to have my story outlined before I could write one. I know that works for many authors. I found it doesn't work for me. I'm a pantser. I function better if I start with an small idea and let my imagination flow in smaller chunks. I don't have to know what is coming next, or how it will end.
What I wound up with at the end of November, was a very, very rough draft of Lifeboat. It took a great deal more work to get it to where it is today, but if I had never sat down in November and written that very rough draft I would still be where I was a year ago.
Instead, Lifeboat is available now on Amazon, and my second work, my novella The Beacon, will be available December 1st.
So will I do NaNo again this year? You bet your sweet bippee I will. This year I'm going to write the sequel to Lifeboat.
How about you? Is that novel within you begging to be written? Is NaNo calling your name too? Will you pursue your writing dream, or will you be in the same place next November that you are today. The choice is yours. Listen to your muse.
How many of you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If you are looking for writing buddies hit me up on there - ABShepherd. That's me.