“I think you’re crazy. You think I can write 50k words in 30 days? With a ten-month old at my feet and his older sisters who I try to teach phonics and math? Noooo, I don’t think so.” I shook my head in disbelief at the impossibility of such a thing. And in November, of all months, with Thanksgiving and Christmas right behind. This meant even less time, because after Thanksgiving, it’s all about Christmas in my house.
This was part of an argument, I mean conversation, with Bev and Pat and others about participating in National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo, for short. The very idea made my head spin faster than a pinwheel on a gusty day. Who, me? I didn’t want to write novels. Ever. I only wanted to write short, cute children’s books. The kind with simple black illustrations and short sentences and chapters. Emphasis on short.
Fast forward several Novembers later and not only do I have one novel at 50k words or better, but four, and another at 40k. I have five novels in various stages of completion, one almost ready to go to an editor friend. I can’t thank the Nanowrimo program or my (still) crazy friends for such an impetus to get words down on paper or the screen.
What helped make it possible were quiet/nap times, late nights, weekends and the camaraderie of emailing word counts back and forth daily. Pat’s got 12k words so far. Yikes! I have to get caught up. Oh, no, Bev’s at 20k and I’m only at 16k. Attending scheduled write-ins also helped where sometimes we were given goals or tempted with free tea or cake to be the first to reach a certain benchmark. And so it went, back and forth until I reached the 50k mark. At which point I felt like eating a triple fudge double-decker sundae or buying a new wardrobe to celebrate.
Not in my wildest dreams did I think I could ever write novels or have so much fun in the process. It’s great fun to be in control of something—even if it’s nonliving characters. So, now the work continues of writing, editing and polishing until one day these novels will get published.