Coming Up for Air, or The NaNoWriMo Half-Way Point

Current Count: 29,228

It usually starts with a germ. I try to take the germ as far as it can go. In this case, I took a bit of last year’s germ noticing it’s getting me a lot further than before. I just go with the story, letting the character tell it to me. It feels like a gumbo with everything getting thrown in, but I decided as much as much as this looks like ‘pantsing’, the next phase will look more like plotting.

My goal, if I succeed, is getting to 50,000 then tack on another 10,000. I will then leave the draft until the new year, making sure one of the copies is a print out. People forget National Novel Writing Month is a start not the end. Around this time of year among the many articles wondering why people would undertake such an event, a few scoff at the concept. If you want to write a novel, goes the thinking, well write. People do write a novel at anytime, but what makes this month unique involves people brave enough to share the joys and struggles. Writers still work in solitude, but at certain times need to come up for air. NaNoWriMo provides the opportunity to come up for air, take big gulps, and keep diving deeper in the story.

Every year since 2008, under another username, I have come up for air before diving again. This year I did publish a short story with my writer’s group. It proves writing can happen at any time of the year. NaNo teaches me to keep diving. I go below to find pearls, and come back up for air. I started with zero words one year, two thousand another, then ten, before doing over 20 thousand for a couple of years running. One year I cracked 30K. This time I wrote every day, to get to the next thousand. I dared myself to write 5000 words over two days. Mission accomplished. I tweet them and since Twitter stands in for the universe, I better make good on my promise.

I have stepped away from my computer for the day. I also eked out 500 words after feeling tired from a long day. I learned to get back. The blog helped as I do write (not quite) everyday, but stepping away honed my focus. To follow the character, a write has to focus as if in conversation. In a way it does feel one as the story gets told, and I listen.

Will it see its publication? May be. Will I write another? Oh, yes, and not in November. Actually the next project will be the next step in keeping the momentum going, and this time I have mapped a plot to some extent. I just call it a bigger germ. Whatever the plot style, the intent remains to keep diving, and make sure to come up for air.

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