November is National Novel Writing Month–NaNoWriMo to those of us in the know. This is a big deal to fiction writers, probably right up there with New Year’s diets. The idea is that if one commits to writing 2,000 words a day for 30 days, one will have the rough draft of a novel completed by the end of November.
Every year millions of writers look forward to this masochistic event. As with the New Year’s diets, we writers actually think this is the year we’re going to write a novel in a month. And every year we do the same thing–much like Charlie brown and Lucy and the football. We run out to kick the ball, it is yanked away just as we’re kicking, and we fall on our butts.
This year I am making a stab at doing something about NaNoWriMo. Up until now, I’d get the idea to do the challenge and then never get started. This year I took the beginning of my third Emma Golden mystery–the 30-some pages of it that languished most of the summer. I started writing the week before the first of November, and wrote as often as I could. I’m happy to report that I now have 64 pages written, and it’s only November 11.
Of course I’m not playing exactly by the rules. I never play by the rules. Anyone who knows me knows that. I do the best I can. When people ask me about my writing schedule, I laugh in their faces. Writing schedule? I don’t think so. With my life, a writing schedule is out of the question.
However. However. Writing schedule or no, I have written and published two novels and am approximately one-third of the way through the draft of the third. It is going extremely well. Better than I would have expected two months ago. And, with any luck, I will have another 64 pages drafted by the end of the month.
Is this perfect? No. It’s progress. It’s progress not perfection. It’s the journey, not the end. Like life.