Monday, October 27, 2014

NaNoWriMo - an invitation

There's a book inside me. Maybe several. Like, a lot.

Have you ever thought that to yourself? Have you ever dreamed of being published? Have you ever wanted to write a novel? It's been on my bucket list for years, but I've never really considered following through with it...until now.

My local public library pretty much rocks. Seriously, they do. I'm signed up to get their emails, and they often offer some really cool events and programs. I've been to a couple of author discussions and participated in their reading programs as my daughter was growing up and when I was a little kid myself. Well, they recently sent me an email that featured the NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month information for November. If you're local to KY or just want to see how my local library is handling it, you can visit them by clicking here ->  Warren County Public Library NaNoWriMo.

Once I saw that, I was like, "Um, yeahhh, I want to write a book. For sure. Like totally," she shared with her loyal readers in blogland. "It's really always been my dream, ya know."   Haha! No, I didn't really say it like that, but I've been practicing my dialogue skillzzzz a little; can you tell? Doesn't it sound natural and not valley-girl-esque at all? As I was saying...

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up and started writing. The contest, program, class, whatever you want to call it doesn't actually start until October 30th at my library, but I'm an overachiever and had to get started immediately. (I'm like that in a lot of different ways, actually - all in all at once.)

Anyway, I started writing on Wednesday, October 16, 2014 during my planning period at work. As of today, 10 days later, I've written 20,924 words in 64 pages.  Woot, woot! Happy dance, happy dance! And I've done this while working as a teacher full-time, teaching an adult night class part-time, facilitating an online class part-time, podcasting, blogging, and having a life that still includes fun times with my friends and family and fella. In other words, I have just managed to fit it into my life.

How have I fit it into my already kind of crazy schedule? Quite simply, I've been writing whenever I have a free moment. During my work day, I write during my planning period and club period and occasionally lunch period instead of visiting with colleagues or running errands or pinning. At home, I've been writing instead of watching television or surfing the net or crafting. (I know, I need to find a little better balance there because I miss the crafting.)  When I lie in bed at night or am waiting for my students to take a quiz or am driving to one place or another, I imagine the things I'll write next. It's actually been rather exhilarating. My house is kind of messy right now, but I figure that's a small price to pay if that's what has to 'give' for me to write a novel. :)

I've noticed that I rarely sit down to write without pounding out at least 1000 words, so that has become my personal goal. If I sit down to write, I try not to stop until I've reached that mark. In that way, I give myself a mini-goal to accomplish that isn't as overwhelming as thinking about the total number of words I need. Plus, that means that I can write for a little while and then move on to other things that I need or want to do.

Basically, I'm like 1/4 of the way there. Yeah, an adult novel is at minimum about 80,000 words. Did you know that? Well, I didn't until I researched it a little. Gives me new appreciation for all the books I've read and the writers who penned them. Makes me feel better about all the money I've spent on books over the years. Overwhelms me to think I've worked so hard and am only 1/4 of the way there. What I need to do is look at it this way -> If I write 1k per session, then I need to spend 80 sessions writing, or 2 sessions daily for 40 days, or....well, you get the picture.

Now, I'm not saying that what I've written thus far is any good. I'm not saying that anyone will ever read it. I'm not saying anybody else would like it. I'm not saying I'll sell it, make a couple million bucks, and have an option for a movie in Hollywood. (Although that would be uber cool, yeah?)  I'm not saying anything really other than the fact that I've started writing a book, and it feels good.

If you're interested in checking out more information about this program, you can go to the national (international?) website and check it out for lots of cool stuff. Visit it by clicking here  -> NaNoWriMo. (No, I'm not affiliated with this website in any financial way; I'm just a user trying to write a book for the first time.)

I'll be sharing a little more about my process and my progress in the following weeks. Until then, I leave you with a question to ponder. Is there a book inside of you?

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