NaNoWriMo Begins in Less Than 2 Weeks

My feelings about making the decision to participate in NaNoWriMo this year—for the first time ever—vacillate between dazed shock, giddy excitement, and of course my signature bucketloads of doubt. I wouldn’t be me if not for that. Still, unless something happens to make it impossible for me to keep writing through to the end of November (which, I suppose, is possible, if the pitches I’m sending out next week turn into something, but if they do, and I hope they do, I also hope they will wait for me to begin December 1) then I’m doing this.

I think I’ve picked the novel. If this is the one, the genre is YA. (Ages 14+) I write about teenagers so often; I might as well stand up and embrace it.

That’s all I’ll say for now. Talking about a work-in-progress doesn’t help me, until I have a flood of words on the page. For some reason, my ideas tend to oxidize when they hit open air and other people hear them. (See: doubt.) I’ll get a little closer—get myself at least a puddle of something—and then I can talk about it.


I’ll be honest: I never thought I’d sign up for this. But I love me a solid deadline, so that’s why I’m all about it this year.

Writing a novel in a month sounds impossible, sure. But I’m thinking of it as rough pages, a start. The two literary fiction manuscripts took me years to write. The first, on and off, in various forms, took me five years, then I abandoned it, though a few of my published stories were once chapters in that novel. The second, I think three years, on and off, more off than on I will fully admit. I revised it drastically in four weeks but that was 24/7 at a colony where they fed me, brought me towels and sheets, and even delivered lunch and a thermos of coffee in a picnic basket—far from the circumstances I’m dealing with now. Besides, that manuscript took much longer than four weeks to write from scratch. And, so far, just one published story has come from all that.

But the three YA (really tween? is 12+ tween?) novels took much less time to write. Two months or less. The third, and last, was written start to finish in five weeks. All while I was working full-time. And yes, this was an exhausting process, it was painful, it was dreadful at times, but other times it was really great. I just checked the word count on that first draft: 49,041. But, again, that was five weeks.

Can I do this? 59 more words and one less week? [EDIT: uhhhh, 959 more words. Can I do this? I can’t even do math!]

I feel: Shocked. Excited. And filled with doubt. I guess that’s to be expected.


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