Light bulb, Cesar Quintero

A novel in a month

I want to do National Novel Writing Month this year. I’ve only successfully completely NaNoWRiMo once, in college, with a romance novel that I probably should at some point at least dust off and reread. Since then, I’ve tried twice and made it about a week or a less each of those two times.

This year is the first in many where I’ve not been in the middle of a novel when November rolled around, so it would appear as though 2015 is a really great year to put myself to the test.

The biggest hurdle I have this year isn’t the time restraint or the word count or anything like that, no, it’s the idea. I don’t have an idea. Oh, sure, I have about a half dozen ideas for YA novels but I really, really need to take a break from that. I need to write something else. Anything else. But ideas for something that isn’t YA just aren’t coming. I’ve even started considering how to turn one of my YA ideas into a non-YA novel, and I think it’s possible, but I’m not sure.

I’m a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ writer, which means I don’t outline or anything like that. NaNo isn’t really good for writers like me. NaNo requires at least a little bit of planning. Like at least having an idea. It might not be a really big one, but it’s usually an opening scene or an opening line or a conflict or at the very least a character. I don’t know if I have any of that right now, outside of YA.

Going into November 1 with the intent to hit 50K by the end of the month on a barely-there idea for a story doesn’t sound like it’s going to be much of a success.

I could outline, if I had a solid idea for a novel.

I could just wing it, and by wing it here I mean truly just start writing and see if 50K and a cohesive story can come out of me.

I could go with one of the YA ideas I have percolating around in my mind.

I could just not even bother and continue on with this itch to write something combined with the lack of desire to actually put pen to paper.

I don’t know what I’m going to do on November 1. I’d like to start writing 50K words. I’d like to see where 50K words in 30 days takes me. I’d like to see if I can just write, every day, without a plan or a sketch or even a concrete idea and see what happens in a month, in 50K words.

It’s terrifying. And exhilarating. Overwhelming. Panic-inducing. Already exhausted. Anxious. Not ready. Excited.

A lot of people spend the month of November writing novels. When I did it the first time, it was to prove to myself that I could write an entire novel, that writing 50K words in a month was doable, that I could finish something. Now, I know I can do all that. I can write a novel. I can write multiple novels. I can complete a novel. I can write more than 50K words. But can I do it this year?

This year I need to prove to myself that I’m not all drained up and that I do want to keep writing. To prove that I’m not giving up. To prove that I don’t need to write YA and I don’t need a solid idea. All I need is to sit down and actually write.

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