NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month–is a marathon sprint of writing, with the goal of penning fifty thousand glorious words in a month.
In 2017 I attempted the challenge by myself and failed, having only gotten halfway through.
This time around, I am so fortunate to have a group of four other writer friends who are doing it with me. We are checking in weekly over Zoom to share our progress. I am already inspired by their enthusiasm. I’m also hoping that the embarrassment of admitting that I didn’t meet the weekly word count will be enough to keep my fingers at the keyboard.
Write in Time is about the importance of community, how we undeniably need each other. Ironically, I wrote a lot of it feeling totally alone. I plan to write its sequel surrounded by friends who I can bounce ideas off or simply have as encouragement to keep going.
I am hugely far behind where I’d like to be going into this challenge. I’ve known since August that I was going to do this. I was going to be prepared, with a full, fleshed-out outline of each scene ready to go, perfect character arcs, a timely theme, and satisfying ending.
What I actually have is a swiss cheese outline, rough idea of where I want to go, and a whole lot of blank paper. I’m going to have to come up with some of this on the fly. In the writing world they call this pantsing, as in, writing by the seat of your pants.
Like so many other areas in my life as a mom, I have come to accept that this month is going to be one fast-paced and sloppy adventure. But if I’ve learned anything from being a mom, it’s that any situation can be survived with plenty of snacks, a little humility, and friends to laugh–or cry!–about it with.