A Letter to NaNoWriMo

Dear NaNoWriMo,

I’ve accepted your challenge in both 2019 and 2020.

Writing a novel in thirty days has got to be fun, otherwise, why would so many people do it?

In 2019, I wrote in private, so I didn’t worry about typos, plotholes, or any of the other annoying aspects of writing. I wrote the first draft of “On Ice” in two weeks, and longed for more, so I wrote quite a few words of “Be a Movie Star.” I wrote and wrote, sometimes against my own advice, knowing that I’d need my fingers for useful things like picking up a fork so I could eat dinner and (try) to replenish some of the energy poured into my work.

Last November, I pounded out something like 140,000 words in thirty days, far beyond the 50,000 word minimum.

This year, I swore I’d be kinder to myself. I would write maybe 2,000 words a day at most, and I’d post what I’d written, with or without the first-draft mistakes.

The problem was, I just couldn’t stop at 2,000 words sometimes, and I had a horror of stopping short of the end of a chapter. I also learned, to my dismay, that I couldn’t bear to post unrevised content. I always read over my posts, even just to check for typos, and I couldn’t resist the urge to write, revise, and post three chapters some days.

The only kind thing I did for myself was to stop after the story had ended, and to return to my regular schedule, instead of starting another novel.

I have a slight fear of next November, given the fact that I both want to write for this blog and write a novel in thirty days.

I don’t have an idea yet, but I know one will strike me down when I least want it and am least expecting it.

It is fun to write a novel in thirty days. It’s great to dive headlong into your characters’ heads and find out what happens to them. There’s nothing like the feeling of starting a new story.

I guess that’s why I know I’ll be back next November, even though the idea makes me feel somewhat light-headed.

Yours truly,

Hyacinth Grey

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