It’s actually a bit silly that we shorten it to “NaNo,” since that literally stands for “National Novel,” and my writing this month will be neither national nor a novel. But then again, in Czech they shorten the formal version of “hello,” “dobrý den,” to simply “dobrý,” which means “good.” So there’s some precedent for this, and no need to overthink it any further.
National Novel Writing Month, a bit of a misnomer these days as it’s an international affair now, begins today. I still haven’t finished the second draft of my novel from last year, which is an actual novel which I will actually finish and eventually publish. I was hesitant to do NaNo at all this year, concerned about my well-known tendency to abandon projects about 2/3 of the way through, once something shinier and more exciting comes along. If I start writing a new book, will I ever finish the last one?
And so, I’ve decided to treat this year’s NaNo as a writing exercise and nothing more. I haven’t been working on my actual novel recently. I have two demanding jobs, one of which involves writing all day (magazine editor and journalist), and when I get home in the evening, I never have the energy to write anymore — certainly not to push through a few more pages of the story I grew sick of months ago. So I relax, and I play video games, and I procrastinate.
I’m hoping that this year’s NaNo will give me that push to start writing for myself again, not just for a paycheck. But I haven’t had the time for planning and plotting, and I don’t want to start another book lest I abandon the first one. And so, with the help of a notebook filled with half-formed ideas for plots and story elements coupled with the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary Word Of the Day, I will begin a chaotic journey through a story which never has to end.
And who knows? Maybe this will turn out to be usable novel material after all. But I have one rule: I have to finish the other book before I begin a second draft of a new one.
Wish me luck, everyone. And if you like my writing, please follow me, leave a comment, and let me know you’re reading. I have a much easier time getting things done when I know I’m being held accountable. You have my full permission to harass and berate me for any late entries. In fact, feel free to poke me if it’s getting too late in the day and I haven’t given you your fix yet.
If you have ideas, suggestions, critique, or any other type of feedback, feel free to leave that here as well. As this is a bit of an improv exercise, I’ll be happy to include any good suggestions as I continue to write.
And now, I believe I’ve put off my writing by writing other writing enough now. Time to get to work!