NaNoWriMo is a few sacred days away. November 1st is fast becoming one of my favorite days of the year, excitement bubbling up in my stomach with such fervor that I inevitably wake from sleep in the wee hours of the morning and can’t resist typing the first few hundred words before falling back to sleep.
Not that 50,000 words in a month isn’t daunting. It is. It really is. It’s lump of nerves in my throat kind of daunting.
For the past 2 Novembers I’ve set out to write 50k words while I play at being a novelist. Both times I’ve succeeded, or in NaNo speak, I’ve won. I loved both of my stories, but what I love more is who I am when I’m writing 1,667 words a day. I love being in the practice of writing. I love how quickly I’m able to drop back into my story each day because my writing muscles are strong and limber.
Creating characters makes me happy. Seeing where these characters take me is thrilling and often times surprising. The first year I’ll never forget when one of my characters opened a drawer and removed a baby onesie. And a gun. Trust me, I was as shocked as you are. I mean, come on, I’m the biggest anti-gun person I know. Having never touched a gun in my life, I had no idea how to write about guns. To the delight of my lone gun-enthusiast friend, I made him take me shooting. For better or for worse, I can now say I’ve fired a gun. Exactly once.
Both years have led me to research a variety of things including:
- the history of LEGO
- rare children’s diseases
- handguns and penetration abilities of different bullets
- Biblical references to angels
- POW camps
- the history of high heels
- hospital procedures and policies
- famous libraries
The first year, I dreamed a strange snapshot of a scene and my novel sprang to life from there. Last year, discovering an unknown safe deposit box that belonged to my deceased father was the thing that birthed my idea. It was a story just begging to be written.
So, today on October 28th, I’m waiting for my idea to peek out. Maybe in a dream. Or a snippet of conversation. Or a newspaper article. Who knows where it might appear. I wait with anticipation, with a pattering heart eager to know where NaNoWriMo will take me this year.
A teensy part of me hopes that on November 1st, my idea will not have shown her face yet. There’s something exciting about sitting down at the computer and beginning to type, implicitly trusting that my writerly brain will follow my furious fingers as they tap out words becoming sentences becoming a story.
NaNoWriMo, here I go!