About a year ago I was a new blogger when, all of a sudden, this weird word popped up all over the place. People were, “doing Nanowrimo.” They were, “Official Nanowrimo Participants.” They were on Facebook at 2am sobbing over their “Nanowrimo project.”
It was a little terrifying.
Was it a cult? A new blogging law? What?!
It turns out Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writer’s Month.
Nanowrimo.org organizes the event and writers can sign up for free. There are support forums and write-in events and online chats. The goal is to write a 50,000+ word novel in the month of November.
The website tracks your progress and offers encouragement and, if you “win” (hit the 50,000 word mark) you get… uhm…. I don’t know exactly. I suppose you get to have a finished novel! Or at least 50,000 words worth of very rough draft.
Nanowrimo 2012 came and went and I didn’t give it another thought. But then… sometime in October I saw that first badge go up on someone’s blog.
Oh, no! It’s coming!
A few people tweeted about it.
Not me. Nope. Not going to do it.
More badges went up.
My site remained badge free.
Though I would love to publish a novel, there were several reasons why I had convinced myself that I didn’t want to participate in Nanowrimo. It was too much pressure. I wasn’t ready to share my story idea with the world. I don’t have time this month. I can’t finish my whole book in 4 weeks!
But the truth is I am ready. I think about this story all the time. It is oozing out of me in line at the grocery store and while I’m getting Toddler-saurus Rex dressed in the morning. It distracts me when I’m trying to listen to a good radio talk show or focus on a new recipe for dinner. I was actually crying for one of the characters (a fictional character that hasn’t even been written about yet! I need help.) not long ago, when I realized he was going to die. The story needs to come out now.
And there really is no pressure. There is accountability and encouragement. The writing police aren’t going to break my door down if I take 3 days off over Thanksgiving (though I’m already thinking I’ll be in far too deep by then to take time off!) or only have 32,641 words written on December 1. This is just a way to get, and stay, motivated, track progress, and connect with community.
Certainly, there will never be time. Who has time to do anything? Somehow, though, when something is important to us, we manage to squeeze it in. Maybe there will be a little less sleep this month or possibly *gasp* I’ll have to scroll through Facebook a little less often. I’ll find some time.
It’s not about finishing. It’s about giving one month of truly concentrated, intentional effort toward the end goal of getting it finished. Again, there are no writing police. I hope.
The truth is I’m just scared spitless.
My story is weird and I know that. I want it to say one thing, but it’s possible it could be interpreted as something else if I don’t choose my words just right.
And what if I pour all of this out of me and people just completely hate it? Or worse… not a single soul reads it?
So October came and went and then it was November 1st and I said, “Oh, well. Too late now. Maybe next year.”
But sometimes God pesters me when He wants me to do something.
I’ve learned in the past that when I realize He is asking a specific task of me I have two choices. I can do it right away and be richly blessed or I can wait until life forces me, through a series of (usually unpleasant) circumstances, to do it later.
I really don’t want to end up in a body cast, being able to do nothing but move my typing fingers, so I finally agreed to come out of the closet as a wanna-be novelist and I registered for Nanowrimo 2013.
Some bloggers have pledged to post bits of their books and their progress every day. I’m not going to do that. I’ll probably put a few snippets out there over the course of the month. Maybe I’ll toss out a word count here and there.
If you love what I share, or find it intriguing and it makes you want to read more, please oh please oh please tell me!
If you think what you read has potential to be interesting but needs a little something I am absolutely open to suggestions. A big part of Nanowrimo, for me, is the opportunity to get some input from others.
If it baffles you, that’s OK. Tell me that, too, please.
If you hate it, I don’t want to know. Seriously. Just call me George McFly.
The novel is very much on the same themes as this blog but it’s…. different. Very different. It’s fairly dark, but hopefully not overwhelmingly so. It isn’t exactly fantasy but it’s certainly not exactly reality either (I don’t think). Maybe, by the end of the month, I’ll be able to say more precisely what it is! Here’s hoping.
Anyway… here’s a taste of what’s been cooking in my brain for… oh…. the past 20 years or so. I hope you like it. Or, at least I hope you don’t hate it.
“Do you hear?” He asked again
To my own great surprise I wasn’t just ready to hear. I longed to hear. I ached for it. I needed to hear. With perfect confidence I understood that I had never been ill at all. In that moment, I accepted what I had always known, deep inside: That the voices were real. “Yes. I am listening. Tell me.”
“Most men hear only their fellow man, and even that is inconsistent and fallible. You are able to hear other men but also those who are not men. You are able to hear those who dwell in the shadows. You are able to hear through the veil that has been drawn. Those on the other side of the veil are interwoven with the human life on this side. It is not another place, removed, but another space, entwined. That is why many sound so near, so often. Listen.”
I could hear them – voices speaking, laughing, crying, singing. They were an untamed symphony, wild and bizarre and somehow still harmonious… but… there was a din, a clamor beginning to take shape. It was small and distant, yet that tiny dissonance was spreading and growing almost imperceptibly. The voices responded with a tone of anxiousness.
“They are worried,” I said. It was more than that. “There is a restlessness. They are anxious.”
His green eyes burned like emerald fire against the dark canvass of his skin. So powerful! The thought radiated from him into me and I felt the awe that this mighty being held for me, a mortal woman… just a mom. “Yes.” He replied out loud. “Many are worried, very worried indeed. The restlessness you sense is so much more dangerous than you can imagine. We are on the verge of an event, the likes of which has not been seen since before the veil was drawn. Perhaps, ever. Soon, the veil shall be cast aside and there will be great confusion and distress. Nothing will remain unchanged. You, Simone, have the ability to act as intercessor. You must mediate between men and others and make them to hear one another. They must hear, as you hear. Only in understanding one another, will they not all be destroyed.”
“So you want me to save the universe?” I raised an eyebrow at him. Maybe I wasn’t insane, but he seemed to be! I grinned a little at the thought. Every shred of the terror I’d felt only a few moments earlier was gone.
“All the universes,” he replied with perfect sincerity.
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!