Tuesday marks the beginning of the fourth National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I've participated in. I have completed the challenge twice. This year will be my third victory.
If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, check out the website at nanowrimo.org. You'll find tons of information there about the sponsoring organization, the Office of Letters and Light as well as all kinds of tools and advice for aspiring and veteran novelists alike.
So I don't need to tell you about all of that.
What I would like to talk about is what NaNo means to me.
I've always loved reading and writing. But focus and attention span are not exactly strong suits of mine, which makes writing a full length novel a bit of a trick. For me, NaNo was like a magnifying glass, gathering up the ideas floating around in my head and focusing them in a month long streak of productivity. I had never experienced anything like it. And I will never forget the moment that I crossed that 50,000 word threshold. In Holden Beach, North Carolina. I hadn't felt so much pride since I stood on the stage at Carnegie Hall with my high school choir. I'd created something. With my own brain and my own hands. It's a pretty awesome feeling.
It was the moment I started to believe that I could truly claim that I was a writer.
Things aren't perfect, of course. I've written two novels now, both of which have the potential to be quite good, neither of which I've come close to actually finishing. But I, like my stories, am a work in progress and I don't have any intention of giving up.
If you would like to donate to the Office of Letters and Light to help support NaNoWriMo and their other awesome programs, please do so through my sponsorship page at http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=150698. I will be using this blog to share my progress, excerpts, lessons and roadblocks with all of you so that you can be sure I'm keeping up my end of the bargain. Many thanks to all who support OLL, NaNo and me in whatever way you choose.