Update to my earlier post: I’m entered in Nanowrimo again this November. If you are too, please find me and be my writing buddy. My project this time around is Mail-Order Mom: Serena.
Nanowrimo sounds like a navigational command from StarTrek but it’s actually code for Sit Butt In Chair and Write With a Vengeance. Beginning November 1, writers from all over the world gather electronically and challenge themselves to write a novel, 50,000 words, in 30 days. The gathering spot: http://www.nanowrimo.org/. There are chat rooms if you get down on yourself, and a whole cheerleading squad in The Office.* You can even buy a Nanowrimo coffee mug and fill it with your fave java so you can launch yourself into fictional orbit. It’s totally zen. Is it odd that my maiden project for NaNoWriMo will be a writing text instead of a novel? To answer your question—no. It’s not odd because for a published author to use NaNoWriMo to get up and running on a long-overdue project simply means NaNoWriMo is working. It’s working to get me motivated; it’s working to get me organized for the Big Day, the first day in November. I have the flutter in my gut writers get from time to time when they are eager to begin. It’s been a long time since I felt that flutter (about writing, anyway), and it’s all good. Too many years have gone by in which my students have reminded, hounded, and bullied me about writing a book they can share with their writing friends and peruse for any nitpicky trick or tip their tired-from-sitting-in-the-chair-writing-all-day brains cannot recall. I feel duty-bound to get the danged text written so they will quit pestering me; and so aspiring writers will have something to lean on in the scary predawn hours of their novel-writing career. Courage is an illusive thing. I used to see a poster that fascinated me in the cafeteria at Chapman University. It pictured a sailboat and featured a misquoted quotation by Andre Gide, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947, which I adapt here: You cannot discover new galaxies unless you have the courage to lose sight of the earth. Do you dream of being published? Does that goal seem a far galaxy? Why not carpe-diem yourself on over to the Nanowrimo website and, Hey-oh! We will do this together, all you princes of prose, and it will not be odd.
To show you that the all-volunteer launch team at The Office of Letters and Light (Support & HQ for Nanowrimo) is behind you all the way, I give you my own personal message from Captain Kim: Hi again Louella, Thanks so much for sharing your story! I am totally invigorated. I’m so glad that you are taking on this challenge of writing a guidebook this November. You are a NaNo Rebel of the highest order: you’re giving back to the writers who are coming after you. We’re rooting you on. Best of luck this November! Tim Kim Office Captain *The Office of Letters and Light You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Office of Letters and Light at http://store.lettersandlight.org