1. Because I want to write a book. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) involves writing 50,000 words in one month. It equals out to about 1,667 words a day. I’ve tried to complete NaNoWriMo two times, once being when I was in school full-time while working part-time and the other being last year where I fell behind early and just gave up, since I didn’t have a clear idea of my novel. And while there are some criticisms with NaNo, I think the positives far outweigh them. If I want to be an author, if I want to write a book, I think this is a great test to see if I have what it takes. To write a novel you have to have more than just a passion for writing and the skill to do it – you also have to be willing to work hard and put in lots of hours.
2. Because I want to say I did it. This is one of those goals I constantly want to achieve. Writing 50,000 words! In one month! So crazy! I’ve had two failing attempts at it and it makes me think I don’t have the fire in me to write a novel. I think completing NaNo will be that first stepping stone I need to get the process of writing, editing, and hopefully publishing my first novel a reality.
3. Because I want to get into a habit of writing every day. I have really fallen out of the habit of writing daily. When I was younger, writing was such a part of me that I couldn’t imagine going a day without writing. Then came college and I started this blog and got wrapped up in academic writing and blog writing and actual fiction writing fell to the wayside. I would still daydream about stories I wanted to write someday, that need and passion for writing fiction was still alive and blooming inside me, but I never set aside dedicated time every day (or even every week) to write. At first, I blamed school so I told myself when I finished school, then I would have time to write. I would have so much more free time! Oh, that “When…then” syndrome. Such a devious little liar! Once you fall out of practice with writing every day, it becomes so hard to get back into it. I think the practice of sitting down at my laptop and churning out 1,667 words a day for 30 days straight is something that will help me get back into the habit of writing fiction on a daily basis. (And also help me see that I do have time for writing.)
4. Because I want to bring my characters to life. Writing fiction is a funny process. At any point in time, I have dozens and dozens of characters I’ve created and plots I’ve brainstormed and settings I’ve pictured floating around inside my head. It’s my favorite way to escape when I’m in the middle of a boring meeting or in the car or when I’m trying to fall asleep. I have characters who have voices and thoughts and ideas and stories that are aching to break free from the confines of my mind. I want to bring them to life. I want to write their words and discover how they truly are. I’m realizing how crazy this sounds to someone who doesn’t write fiction, but these characters are a part of me and I just want to get their story written.
5. Because I’m crazy. Obvs. You have to be pretty crazy to decide to take on NaNo. As exciting as it is in the beginning, as you begin to outline your story and brainstorm characters… the reality is that it’s hard to write 1,667 words every single day – especially with a full-time job that tends to take a lot out of me. Writer’s block happens. You begin to doubt your story. And sometimes? Sometimes you just don’t want to write or you actually have absolutely no time to breathe, let alone spend an hour or two in front of a screen to write. It’s a crazy challenge to take on, but I’m in the excited phase right now and I’m ready to be a little crazy in the name of writing.
Any other NaNoWriMo crazies out there? I’m stephanywrites, if you want to connect!