Tuesday, November 09, 2010

NaNoWriMo - 2010 edition

The pic says it all - 30 Days - 50,000 words

I have participated in NaNo before and sadly, have started off strong and then abandoned the project when life and busyness and laundry has gotten in the way.

But I am in a strange literary place - I have a novel that a publisher has requested re-writes for - and I need to do them. But I'd also like to find a new agent. Two of my top pick agents and a third I'm not sure what to think about yet, have said, basically, "we don't want this one but if you write anything else we'd like to see it."

So I really need to write another novel. And I've known that for a long time. Trouble was, I just couldn't decide which story to do - and lacked the motivation to just do it.

Enter NaNoWriMo - my personal kick in the pants. All the way up until October 31st, I was still praying and pondering - which novel to do. The easiest would have been one that I had already plotted but while I love the story, it's a quieter novel and I wasn't sure the story was going to snag an agent's attention. There was a second one that I was intrigued by, but hadn't thought through enough to feel like I could tackle it.

Then, when I opened my laptop on Monday, November 1st, I had a file on my screen of a story that I had been thinking about writing for three years. That was the story I had to write. It was clear.

What's crazy is that this particular novel may be the hardest of them all to get an agent with/or sell to a publisher. But I don't care. I feel like, for the first time in a long time, I am writing a novel because I'm meant to tell this story. What happens to it after isn't my concern.

Today I hit 16,000 words. And as I pondered where I was at, I realized that the story is much darker than I had anticipated. But I'm thinking that's okay, because I also know where the novel is headed. It's exciting. And exhausting. I have too much to do this month. But for some reason, the busier I am the more productive I can be. I kind of thrive on deadlines.

And that's what NaNo has been - a deadline, self-imposed as it may be, it still helps to know that thousands of other crazy writers are out there pounding out words every day too.

(And as an aside - I not only have a regular job, but I'm also directing A Christmas Carol - with 99 kids in the cast. Why yes, I am that crazy:-)