My big, fat NaNoWriMo life

Give peace a chance.

It’s November, and I’m just a few steps away from official freak-out mode. You know what November means, don’t you? The holiday countdown is on.

I’m nowhere near being ready. I’m so far behind that I haven’t even bought my pumpkin for Halloween yet, and now October is gone. I guess I’d better start looking now for a turkey. (At my house I won’t have to look far. Ba da boom.)

As if I didn’t have enough stuff going on, I have also signed up for NaNoWriMo. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is. I’m a novelist newbie myself, and the first time I heard the term, I thought it was alien speak.

NaNoWriMo refers to National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words, roughly 175 pages—a novel—between the dates of November 1-30.

Okay. I can do that. I guess. But it’s going to be hard.

When I started my first manuscript, I didn’t know anything about writing a novel. I just jumped in. I believed my desire to write came from God. I still do, but back then I didn’t worry about POV and voice and pacing and head-hopping and all the other pointers I’ve picked up in the writing conferences I’ve attended this year.

I just dove in head first and wrote, believing God would take me and the book wherever we were supposed to go.

Now I know too much. I know a dirty dozen different ways I can fail, and I’m afraid of messing up.

But see, that’s where NaNoWriMo comes in. Participants are encouraged to write with abandon, to let the words flow freely and to throw caution to the wind—kind of what I did with my first manuscript.

NaNoWriMo participants get a free ride. They can delve into writing without worrying about failure. They know what they write isn’t going to be perfect. And it’s okay.

The end process will be a novel that can be edited and revised at a slower pace.

I’m thinking I wish I could live my Christian life in NaNoWriMo mode. No, I don’t mean I want to make errors without worrying about consequences.

I mean I wish I could just jump in and do whatever it is God wants me to do without trying to control the variables that could affect my failure.

I wish I could just walk without fear and let God take my writing—and my life and all the worry that goes with it. He’s in charge of my ultimate revision. Why do I think I can do a better job?

And so here we go again, I’m launching another WIP. As of November 1, I’ve logged in 3,541 words. Not too shabby. My goal is to write an average of 2,000 words each day.

Am I crazy or what?

How about you? Are you living the NaNoWriMo life?

 If you want more information about NaNoWriMo, check out the official website.

10 thoughts on “My big, fat NaNoWriMo life

  1. Wooh! Virtual high-five! I’m so in. My third year 🙂 and I’m aiming for 100 k this year. Which is insane because I’m more busy than last year but that’s okay. I can do this.
    I love how you relate this to life, it is like that. God is the ultimate reviser and if we’d just relax and jump into life God would take care of our mistakes and we’d probably make less of them.

  2. Oh, I am SO with you! That first novel I wrote was awesome and fun and easy… And then I learned enough to paralyze myself. YIKES! (LOVED how you called it “a dirty dozen different ways to fail.” That’s it exactly.) I am taking Nano this year to write the “old way” and see what happens. Revision can be slow. I want this novel to wander where God takes me!

  3. That’s pretty much what I’m doing. I believe writing is God’s gift to me. I don’t want to take His gift and turn it into something I dread. I’ve learned so much through MTCW and ACFW that I am not the same writer I was a year ago. In some ways I’m approaching the new project with a different kind of confidence because I know how to avoid some mistakes. I guess I just want to walk the talk and demonstrate the faith I claim to have. Either He meant for me to do this, or He didn’t. Regardless of the outcome, I just need to have faith and be faithful. 🙂

    By the way, one day I would really like to sit down and ask you about a million questions about your writing journey. I think I may need to write them down I have so many! There is a lot I can learn from you!

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