Summer is over. Yeah, I know there are still 20-some-odd days left of it in September, but let's be real. There are red leaves on the tree outside my house, football is about to officially start, and my family has been chattering about going apple picking. Summer is over.
That means we're just that much closer to the start of NaNoWriMo 2010, and I couldn't be happier. I'm not looking forward to the shorter days or not being able to play outside with Griffin after work, but I have been longing for those chilly days on the weekend when I can snuggle with my laptop and put onto paper (er, computer screen) what only existed in my head before that. Creating characters, flawed and broken, yet resilient. Describing in detail places I've visited or have longed to see in person. Plot twists and turns. It's all so exciting and it's only 62 days away.
It's not like I don't write any other time of the year, but there's something about that contest. The pressure to write every day. The camaraderie with other writers who understand the frustration and the love/hate relationship with writing under such a tough deadline. And then there's my favorite part - the freedom from perfection. The goal is to just write. Don't worry about finding the perfect word. Forget about how cheesy or awkward something sounds. It's a first draft. Because of NaNo, I successfully silenced my inner critic, and believe me, that was no small task.
Last year was my first NaNoWriMo...and I won (which just means I reached the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days. I didn't really win anything, although I did get an awesome certificate that I proudly hang in my office at work). From that experience, I came away with a half-completed novel that I eventually finished in July. I am slowly working on revisions and hope to have those completed before November 1st so I can start NaNo with a clean slate and new ideas. I do have an idea, by the way, and I'm really excited about it.
So I have a lot to do in the next 62 days - revisions on my first story, basic plotting of my new idea (I've already started that), and a name. I seriously need a name. I cannot, in good conscience, start NaNo with a novel called "Untitled." That's not going to cut it.
I encourage everyone who enjoys writing even the slightest bit to sign up for NaNo this year. I'll even be your NaNo buddy (if that's not an incentive, I don't know what is).