I’ve decided it might be interesting to journal my very first NaNoWriMo experience on this blog (along with my regularly scheduled posts – don’t worry, you’ll still get your book reviews and Top Ten Tuesday posts). I know a lot of you are participating, and, even though it’s just begun, I have loved reading all the posts about your inspiration and writing processes. I might not write every day, just whenever the inspiration strikes me. Or when I have time between grad school, blogging, and writing a novel.
In case you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it is National Novel Writing Month, where people all over the world get together and spew out a 50,000-word novel in thirty days – you can find out more on the NaNo website. This is my first year participating. And, since I did not exactly plan well this year (I still have to finish a research paper today before I start writing), I’m going with an idea I developed for my Contemporary Writers and Publishing course a few months ago. It’s a retelling of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey set in Boston in the 1920s. Which works out really well, because I can basically use Austen’s novel as my outline, with minimal research because I’m relatively familiar with the 20s, and very familiar with Boston since I lived there for two years (in an apartment building that actually existed in the 1920s). I’ve actually tried to write it a few times already, in different time periods and settings, but I think NaNo will force me to actually get beyond the first few chapters. So I’m completely starting over, and hopefully just getting a rough draft done. Which is something I’m not good at (I’m a compulsive editor). My challenge isn’t getting the word count in, it’s not letting myself go back over what I’ve already written until I’m done.
Since I haven’t started writing yet, I thought I’d share a bit of inspiration. I’ve watched Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech at least a dozen times, and it never gets any less inspiring. Every time, I immediately feel confident and ready to go out and write. Whenever I feel a bit of writer’s block coming on, or the thought that maybe I’m not meant to write at all starts creeping in, I watch this video. So today, I wanted to share it with all my fellow writers, bloggers, and NaNo participants.
Hope you enjoyed it! I just rewatched it, and it made me even more excited about meeting Neil Gaiman in a couple of weeks! And, if you’re participating in NaNo, add me as a writing buddy – my username is stephma.