Friday, November 1, 2013

Write a Novel in a Month

I think, like every other book obsessed child out there, I always wanted to be a writer. I was that nerdy girl who wrote twelve page stories when the teacher only asked for two, kept huge notebooks filled with stories and ideas and random twaddle, and seriously planned on writing THE next great American novel. But then, writing for a career struck me as a little unstable and unpractical, so I became an English teacher, and then life happened, and that whole dream of becoming an author kind of got shelved. I always thought, Someday, when that perfect idea hits me, and I have the time, and the stars are all aligned, I'll write that Great American Novel.

But you know how things go, and I doubt I'm ever going to have that perfect idea, or the time. I have a couple of friends who have written novels (reviewed one here) and I just kind of hold them in awe. Like, wow, real people can actually think up these ideas and write these whole books and get them published!? While they do other things like raise families and go to grad school and stuff? It just seems like such a daunting thing, writing that many words!

But really, I'm going to be pretty disappointed with myself if I get to the end of this life without ever even attempting to write a book. So sometimes, you've just got to buckle down and give your life goals a try, right?

I've been skimming through Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project recently (got it for my birthday, one of my favorite reads) and for one of her happiness goals she writes a novel in a month. I started thinking, You know, I should just do that. Just sit down and write a novel in a month, just to try. So I'm going to, this month, try to write a novel. It just so happens (pure coincidence, I promise), that this month is November (gah! November 1st today, can you believe it?) which happens to be National Novel Writing Month. I'd heard of NaNoWriMo before, but in all honesty I hadn't paid much attention to the movement until I realized that my novel writing month was going to coincide with theirs, so I thought, what the hey! I'll sign up for an account with them. Just making this goal a little more official is all.

So yep, starting today I'm going to spend this entire month working on a novel. Do I have a plot idea? Nope. Do I have characters? Not really. Do I even know what genre of novel I want to write? No (but I'm going to figure that all out by the end of today, I promise). My only plan is to just plunge in and start writing something. It's probably going to be spectacularly horrible, and no one will ever be allowed to read it ever. But it's just something I've got to do.

So, if things are quiet around the blog this month, it's probably because I'm trying to write a book. If things are a little more busy on the blog this month, it's probably because I'll be trying to avoid writing my book (nothing like a blog post to clear up the writer's block, right?). But here's to wishing myself luck!

Now excuse me. I've got a book to write.


  1. I think this is amazing! Good luck!

  2. You are amazing! This has never been an ambition of mine, but you could totally do it! I'll take J for a day or two if you need extra time to think and write :)

    1. Haha, that's super sweet of you. Right now I'm doing okay with naptime and post-bedtime writing sessions, but if I get desperate by the end of the month I may take you up on that offer :)