Friends, countrymen, lend me your ear.
Or your eyes. Eyes are more appropriate.
I, Emily Elizabeth Thompson, am about to embark on a quest that could be considered a terrible idea or a great creative outlet –– that will be determined at the end of this adventure. The word “adventure” is stretching it, because for most the task of writing is nothing more than a yearly or everyday occurrence. To me, the grocery store or a trip to the nearest cat café is an adventure. With that in mind, come with me down the rabbit hole as I join the adventure of NaNoWrimo.
What is NaNoWrimo, you may ask? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, a national event every November where writers commit to creating a novel – at least 50,000 words – in 30 days. It’s a great way to challenge your creativity and exercise your writing muscles. However, it’s also a huge undertaking. The goal of 50,000 words is a walk in the park for some, while others sweat bullets to write a thank you note.
Those people include me. I have done some writing in my time, with social media apprenticeships and writing classes in college. However, I’ve always felt like the person gasping to keep up in a marathon where everyone’s miles ahead. I would sit in my poetry class and feel the grip of anxiety while my classmates chattered about rhyme schemes and iambic pentameter. I always became lost in the technical side of writing, which I refer to as the “math side” of the craft. My sister is blessed with the magical understanding of sentence structure, but apparently that is something that can’t be passed on between identical twins. This lack of understanding and a self-conscious outlook kept me away from something that, as an avid reader, I should love.
My quest for this November is to rediscover my love of writing, and to gain confidence in my ability to tell stories. Hopefully, I’ll have a story at the end that I can one day turn into something more. While 50,000 words is the goal, I’m going to give myself a more realistic one. By the end of November, I need to write between 8,000 and 10,000 words. I also want to build out my world and characters to make them more developed by the end of the month.
Thankfully, the story I’m focusing on popped in my head during my lunch break in July, so I’ve had time to start creating some of characters and building a rough outline of the story. With my Pinterest board and ideas in hand, I hope to conquer my fears and end November with something that remotely resembles a good story. I’m also going to post here about my writing, because apparently, I’m a crazy person who wants to give herself more work during the busy holiday season.
If you are also going on this journey, I hope you have a lack of plot bunnies and a bountiful snack stash. If you’ve read this and thought, “Emily, what the heck is this and how do I find out more”? You can learn more about NaNoWrimo and all of the great work that also comes from this month at https://nanowrimo.org/.