Last year, I made a half-willed attempt to write a novel in one month. Only two things of substance came of this. The first was the most amazing introduction to a novel ever to spill out of my brain. The second was this blog entry, which now serves as a reminder of where I went wrong:
Originally posted on November 29, 2011
Okay, so tonight marks the end of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). If you recall, at the beginning of the month, I proclaimed that I would, in fact, complete a novel in one month.
Things didn’t really work out as planned.
This is how it happened (in a tribute to Hyperbole and a Half):
The first day, I was so excited and ready for the challenge. The sun was shinning. The birds were chirping. The writer’s muse slipped me a note with the perfect idea for a story.
After careful consideration of the amount of writing I had to do, I mapped out my time on a calendar and pinned it up on my wall.
That night same night I outlined my story by hand in my writer’s notebook. It had a title, a beginning, and a middle. I didn’t have an ending, but, according to my calendar, I didn’t have to worry about that until November 21st.
On the third day of the month I began writing. I wrote amazing words. I read some out loud to The Librarian and she actually laughed. Like a real laugh. She never laughs. Well. She never laughs at anything I say.
I became obsessed with the intro. Writing and rewriting. Drafting and deleting. Thinking and sketching. And then I did a little math. I’m not sure why. I hated math while I was in school and majored in English so I wouldn’t have to ever do it again as an adult. But, there I was, computing how many words I needed to write per day to make it to my 50,000-word goal.
And, when I finished my algorithm I realized that a.) I was a mathematical genius. and b.) I was 10,000 words behind. I did some more computing and further discovered that I needed to write 4,000 words a day to make it to the finish line. Then, after all that math, I noticed that the official NaNoWriMo website did those calculations for you.
Feeling defeated, I gave myself a few days to recover from the math I never should have performed. And then, a few days turned into a week. The week turned into two. And then there was a Lady Gaga Thanksgiving special.
I never got around to writing after that. I mean, did you see it? Who could write after that?
Tonight, however, I feel like that first day. I feel like I could sit down and type until my fingers bleed. And, c’mon, isn’t it a bigger accomplishment to write a novel in one night than in one month? I think so.
Okay, so let’s see, I need to write 45,000 words in eight hours, which means 6,000 words an hour…where’s my calculator?