*NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Yes, it's crazy to think that a novel can be completed in 30 days, but I do believe that a lot of great ideas can make it onto paper (or onto the screen) in 30 days. (It was fun to read Rainbow Rowell's pep talk, which affirms exactly that perspective on the process.) Then the real writing starts. Deadlines are my friend. So is revision.
So, for the month of November, I'm exercising some writing/fiction muscles that I haven't used for a long time. Betsy has completed NaNoWriMo twice before, in 2011 and 2012, but Ramona and I are novices. So, Betsy can often be found these days nodding sagely at us and saying things like, "Yeah, I felt that way my first year, too."
And now, the Top Five Ways You Can Tell We're NaNoing:
I (apologetically and sheepishly) use "NaNo" as a verb: "Dinner's in the oven, guys. I'll be NaNoing and then we'll eat in about an hour."
I tell the kids that it would be obviously, patently, ridiculous and unacceptable to pad one's word count with sentences such as, "She was very, very, very, very, very, very tired." Then I create a character who says things such as, "I really, really needed to be here."
(Do as I say kids, not as I do.)
I am sometimes caught with a dreamy look on my face, my lips moving as I play around with dialogue.
I am counting the words in this blog post. I'm thinking it's a shame there isn't someplace to log the number of words in a blog post so that I can feel a purely mathematical sense of accomplishment.
#1 way you can tell we're doing NaNoWriMo:
We are focused on sharing an adventure and a goal. We have shared synopses ("Oooh! That sounds compelling, Betsy!" and, "Ramona, that is an amazing idea! And it's so you!" and, "Mom, this sounds cool! And I love your names!") We have guarded works-in-progress. We have emailed each other pep talks. We've checked in on one another's word counts ("Mom! I wrote 4,000 words today!")
We remind each other that although writing is a huge amount of work, creativity is an enormous amount of fun.
We are having a lot of fun.