Yesterday I made the exciting and slightly terrifying decision to sign up for National Novel Writing Month (“NaNoWriMo” for short – ‘cos even writers love abbreviations…). It starts on November 1st, and the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. That’s approximately 1,666 words a day. If I write for 2 hours each day, that’s 833 (ish) words an hour. That is definitely achievable – at Cambridge, I was writing essays of about 2,500 words in 3 hours, provided I’d done all my research ahead of time. I don’t say this because I’m out to impress you, but to remind Future Me, in the midst of NaNoWriMo, that I am used to handling this pressure. I can do it, for the good of the cause, i.e. actually finishing a bloomin’ story for the first time in my life. The days of my youth are littered with the abandoned cadavers of Notebooks Past (see one of my earlier works below), speared with fading biro and left for dead. I am signing up for this challenge because for the first time, I feel I have a story that deserves to be finished and heard. Plus, I would love to have at *least* a first draft by the time I go back to finish my Master’s in January.
What’s the story, you ask?
Well, I can’t give too much away… Suffice to say it will be partially autobiographical, in that I feel very strongly that I want to portray life with chronic pain. Beyond that — well, we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we? (I used to hate it when grown-ups told me that as a child. It is perverse rebellion that I am using this phrase myself now).
I will be social-media-ing my progress as it comes around, and potentially sharing a few planning gems as well. I’m very excited to get started. A good friend has also agreed to sign up, so I’m eagerly awaiting many a coffee shop meeting where we both sit in silence, typing frantically and only looking up at each other to glare in deep resentment for what we mutually decided to do.
So here’s hoping that I will relish the accountability, make new friends at writers’ group, absolutely SMASH this first draft, and that I don’t end up feeling like this: