The NaNoWriMo Commitment

Nano 2013 prep

Deciding to participate in NaNoWriMo is like making a commitment. I take my commitments seriously, for I am loyal to a fault. After having participated last year for the first time, I find myself a bit ambivalent about this go around. Last year, I was super energized, primarily from a place of curiosity. Could I complete it? Would it define me as a serious writer? How would it turn out?

I’m happy to report that the result was an amazing experience, like a first love, everything is new and exciting– I approached it all with eyes wide open! I learned so much about myself, not only as a writer but as a person. I exceeded my goals. I wrote, perhaps, my best novel to date; of course, that was after months and months of revising what I’d initially spewed onto to paper. But, committed as I am, I tooled until my novel took shape. It’s currently being considered at a publishing house. I’m waiting. The waiting is brutal.

Perhaps, part of the reason I’m not 100% sure I can/ want to take this year’s challenge is because I have no closure on the product of last year. But there is something more. I’m not naive, this time, to what it takes to accomplish the monumental task of writing almost 1,700 words a day. It’s all encompassing of time and thought and dedication. Then, there’s the commitment to a topic.

Last year, I wrote something different– a novel so unlike what I’d written before. My idea came quick and the details fell into place easily.

This time, I’m stuck. I have several ideas ruminating, one I’ve still not been able to commit to, so the nearer November 1st, the less prepared I feel. Is the success of NaNoWriMo contingent upon the preparation? I was uber prepared last time. I began with a solid outline, character bios so complete that my characters knew what they were going to say before I did. I researched the scenario, reading and taking copious notes.

And, here I am, less than four weeks away with nothing. I can’t even decide on a plot.

Perhaps, that’s where my learning will come this year– in accepting that sometimes it’s okay to just begin and see what evolves. What’s the worse that can happen? Writer’s block. Been there. Dealt with that before. Writing that is sub-par. Been there too, and, at that point, you have two choices: craft it into something meaningful or shelve it for another day.

I believe writing is organic. A writer commits to a seed and allows it to flourish. I’m guessing that’s where I am right now.

Goal for T minus less-than-four weeks: find my seed.



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