For thirteen years, since 1999, on the first of November, writers from all over the world and the known universe – well-known, unknown, obscure, and me will write our hearts out for 30 days.
The November Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo – is here. At last count more than 157 000 writers signed up.
The challenge – 50 000 words in 30 days. That’s the goal in word count, the second goal is to finish what you have started. Quantity above quality and a terrible first draft is the prize. In December the hard work must continue – editing, re-writing and polishing the story we wrote to make the words shine. Only then can you pat yourself on the back and say; “I did it”.
In order to complete the challenge, you have to be ruthless and lock your inner critic, the dragon, in a kennel for 30 days, without food and water.
Over the years the finish percentage was just below 20%. And of the 500 000 or so novels written only 200 got published. You see, my friends, the odds are not in anyone’s favor, but that’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo.
You write your heart out.
After November you won’t be able to look back on your life, wishing that you did write that story. You will write that story you are meant to write. You will finish the book.
A stroll on the beach, it won’t be either.
Oh no. You have to weld your ass to a chair and write. Every day. Putting the words to screen and paper no matter what.
In the process you need courage, support, coffee, chocolate, ice-cream… what ever it takes.
Most importantly you have to become a dragon slayer this month.
Chuck Wending in his blog, Terribleminds, sums NaNoWriMo up nicely, listing 25 things you should know about NaNo. Warning: He uses lots of naughty language. But he gets the message across. Don’t say I did not warn you.
My friend Pamela Hodges, wrote on her blog about killing the dragons that keeps you from creating art and that creating art takes courage.
Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.
― Andy Warhol
This month I’m slaying my dragon. I’ll ‘make a hat from its skull, a coat from its scales and a tail from his tongue’.
The battle lines are drawn. I’m ready to do battle. I want to succeed. I like challenges, no one has ever accused me of not facing up to my fears.
I’M WRITING A NOVEL.
I’M A DRAGON SLAYER.
I’M NOT AFRAID OF FAILURE – IT’S THE HIGHWAY TO SUCCESS (tweet this)
Who is with me in the quest to slay dragons, to facing one’s fears and succeeding?
I will appreciate the support.
A synopsis of the planned novel I’ll post on Wednesday.
Tomorrow we are flying, on a plane—my broom stick is in for a service—to Pretoria to see James’s father. He’s not well. Please pray for him.