National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
I had heard about this last year, but either didn’t have the time or told myself I didn’t have the time. But seeing as I am here in Paris and trying to write more, it seems like a good opportunity.
If I finish -and the only thing stopping me from doing that is… me- the worst case scenario is that over a month I did a lot of writing. Even if one word never goes any where or it doesn’t go any farther, the discipline and practice will serve me.
(I have picked up two different side jobs and just booked a week in Barcelona, Spain. This could get interesting. Or at least a good exercise in time management.)
But if I am over here and not taking advantage of the opportunity and time that I have right now, I know I will regret it forever and will never likely have another chance like this.
It works out to about 1,700 words a day.
(1,666.66 to be more precise.)
They also do a good job of connecting people to support and encourage the people who sign up. (Last year 167,150 people signed up, 32,178 people were verified for completing the challange.) They connect people online and also have regular regional meetings where people have signed up meet to write. There is a Paris chapter and apparently there are some English speakers, so I am going to try and make every one. Again, nothing stopping me but me.
I can’t say writing a novel has been a lifelong dream, but I can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind in some shape form or fashion. And it’s not the publishing or selling of it that is attractive and I am not suggesting it would even be any good. The doing it is what appeals to me.
So I’m going to do it.
You can’t actually start writing until November 1st, but you can do all the planning. For the first time since junior high, I am trying to organize before I write. Outline, plot, characters, etc. I have a few ideas. We will see where and how it goes. I will post regular updates of the overall progress (I have already scrapped my first outline…) and added a widget to the right to show my word progress.
There was a meet and greet at a Starbucks on the 23rd I checked out. I stood on the edge of the pool for about 20 minutes, trying to figure out how to slip into the water as I drank my coffee, checked my phone and pretended like I belonged when I saw a guy who messaged me on the message board and introduced myself. After telling me to follow him he shushed everyone and introduced me. I was so shocked that I don;t know if it was in English or French, but everyone yelled, welcomed me and got me a chair. I talked with a few gracious people and was actually the last one to leave. There is also a kick-off event tonight on Halloween from midnight (when you can officially begin writing) until 8am tomorrow morning. It’s at a shared coworking space called The Canteen, complete with wifi, coffee, snacks and sleeping bags.
For anyone curious, I will try to both post overall updates here as blog entries and regularly post what I have written on my Words I’ve Typed page.
Wish me luck.