Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Today's the Day - Nanowrimo 2017 Begins!

I am so excited to begin National November Writing Month (Nanowrimo) today. I've had my novel ideas circulating in my head for weeks now, and it is finally time to start putting pen to paper - or fingers to keyboard as the case may be.

This will be my fifth consecutive year participating in Nanowrimo. I won it once, two years ago. There are all of these tips and tricks out there to help you complete the seemingly overwhelming 50,000 words. But honestly, it all comes down to one question. Do you want it?

I'm serious. Of all the years I have done Nanowrimo, the only year I won was the year I really wanted it. The first year, I had no idea what I was doing, so I didn't really write much. The second and fourth year, I was distracted by activities and social commitments. The third year, the year I won, I really wanted it and wrote constantly, making my writing a priority, until I made it to the end.

From my experience, if you want it, you will do it.

And that's it. Just do it. Write everyday. Write as often as you can. Write as much as you can.

When you hit writer's block, keep writing. Write the descriptions of your characters. Write descriptions of the setting. Write about why you can't figure out what happens next.

I entered in my first Nanowrimo update today. I'm so excited to begin.
Cheers to all who are participating with me! #Nanowrimo2017

One reason I love Nanowrimo is because it creates habit. The trick with writing, as well as other creative aspiration, is the more you do it, the easier it is to keep up the momentum. When life gets in the way, like during summer for example, it takes me a while to get started again. Nanowrimo is a jump start for me to get into the writing mode just in time for those cold winter months. I always want to hibernate during this time of year, so it works out well to be able to spend more time writing and editing my work.

Developing new ideas for novels is one of the easiest and hardest things for me. Usually, a small idea comes from something I read or experience. Then I build on it, continuously adding more details as I go.

I really like creating new content, but tend to have a really hard time editing. Thus, Nanowrimo is one of my favorite times a year.

This year, a series of events led up to my novel's subject matter. I recently helped a friend's grandmother write down her life's story to pass down to future generations. Her family was very comfortable in the outdoors and spent lots of time in the mountains hunting and fishing. In addition, I participated in a benefit run with another friend for pancreatic cancer awareness. These two influences blended together in my mind to come up with my Nanowrimo project.

I wanted to do a story beginning at the trail head of a backpacking journey. I decided to make the protagonist a female because that perspective is what I know. Write what you know, right? I tried to figure out why she would be going on this journey and decided it would be to overcome a loss. I wanted to use the stages of grief and the healing power of nature to lead her into self-discovery. Due to my recent interaction with pancreatic cancer awareness, I decided the trigger would be her mother dying of this deadly disease. It sort of all builds from there. Who she is, where her relationship stands with her family and so on and so forth.

The beauty is that a lot of the little decisions come out during the writing process. As I have discovered when writing previous novel ventures, the characters have a story of their own and they will let you know as you go if you just keep writing.

Today is only the beginning and I'm excited for this year's adventure. This year I really want it again, so I think I will win. I know I will win.

I'd love to hear from other who are participating in Nanowrimo this year! See you in the winner's circle!

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