Sunday, October 17, 2010

NaNoWriMo--Who's With Me?

So next month I might not be here at the blog so much. I'm going to be devoting most of my writing time to writing a novel. In a month. With 100,000+ other people, who do the same thing each November, all over the world. Last year my friends Kita and Karen did it; perhaps more people I know did as well?

Last week I had the opportunity to see the founder of NaNoWriMo, Chris Baty, speak at Facebook. And let me tell you, I pulled out all the dork stops for it. Brought my laptop and took notes while he talked, laughed too loud at all his jokes (in my defense, he really was funny), and just basically got my school-girl-crush-of-college-professor adoration on (even though the guy has to be 10 years younger than me, which was never a problem when I actually was in college). At first I thought everyone was dorking out like me and taking notes, but then I realized that a lot of the people were Facebook employees actually keeping an eye on their work while they listened to him speaking. Soooo, I might have been the only one actually taking notes. Super.

I will say that sitting there in a lecture/discussion type setting reminded me how much I loved being a student and how much I have missed feeding my brain by listening to, and exchanging ideas with, other people in some sort of academic setting. Sigh. Didn't I just post about how wicked smart you have to be to be a stay at home mom? Well, I guess it takes a different kind of smart, and gives a different kind of satisfaction, from what I get listening to someone talk about their passion for writing and publishing. I havent' been able to stop thinking about how great it would be to go back to school for---something. But what?

At least for next month, while I sit on that question, I'm going to throw myself into one thing that has always been a great passion and dream of mine--writing a novel. It's about time. I started writing my first novel in high school (it was deliciously horrible, let me tell you). I've started about four since then, but never devoted the time or love needed to complete them. One of the perks of writing a whole novel in a month, according to Chris Baty, as that you're basically giving yourself permission to write horrendous drivel because you can't possibly craft the perfect novel in 30 days. And that takes a lot of the pressure off and makes it easier to shut up that voice of your inner critic.

The other thing he said that, hyper-emotional-overly-sensitive-internalizer-of-all-things that I am, made me a bit weepy when he said it and has resonated with me ever since, "the novel you write when you're 25 is different from the one you'll write at 40. And the novel you write at 65 is not the same as the novel you wrote at 40. Every year you don't write, another story you could have told is gone forever." At almost 40, I feel like I owe it to all the stories I've failed to tell to sit down and be true to this part of who I am, and finally tell a whole story.

I'll still post on Mama Sarahndipity a couple times a week and I am also promising myself to get back into the swing of things on my "365" Blog, which I really should rename my "whenever I damn well feel like it" blog, since the 365 is now looking more and more like a 415 blog or something like that. But for the most part I will be neglecting the blog--along with the housework and the grocery shopping--to write a novel.

9 comments:

Corinne said...

I am so excited for you!!! I wish I could get it together to do it this year, but I'm promising myself 2011 will be my NanoWriMo year.
Will be cheering you on!!!

Tiffany @ Lattes And Life said...

This---->I loved being a student and how much I have missed feeding my brain by listening to, and exchanging ideas with, other people in some sort of academic setting.

ME TOO. Oh my God, I miss that part of life so much. I know I'll have the chance to experience it again, if only an intellectual chat over coffee. But in the meantime..the here and now...I really miss it.

Jennifer said...

I think a novel in 30 days is a great idea! I say go for it and have fun. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to actually do it. You go girl :)

Sarah said...

I sent you an FB message about this...

cicadalady said...

SO glad you are doing this! I can't wait to read the result! Mine ended up taking almost a year, but I got enough of it finished that first month that there was no way I was going to stop. And I might have some more news about that novel soon too. I'll keep you posted :)

cicadalady said...

SO glad you are doing this! I can't wait to read the result! Mine ended up taking almost a year, but I got enough of it finished that first month that there was no way I was going to stop. And I might have some more news about that novel soon too. I'll keep you posted :)

lonek8 said...

good for you! I would love to say that I am joining you, but I think I would at least need an idea to base my novel in 30 days around. So we'll see.

sarah said...

Kate, I'm still coming up w/ my idea! I have a couple of them, but none are fleshed out at ALL. there is a whole thing on the NaNoWriMo website about being a planner or a "pantser" (flying by the seat of your pants). You could totally do it even if you have no idea right now what to write about!

Hyacynth said...

Oooooh! Exciting!! How's it going so far?