November First: NaNoWriMo and I

Halloween is one of four yearly cross-quarter days that fall between equinoxes and solstices. That means we’re more than halfway through autumn on the way to winter. You couldn’t tell by today’s weather. It’s nothing like the month in Thomas Hood’s poem.

November

No sun - no moon
No morn - no noon
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member-
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruit, no flowers, no leaves, no birds!
November!

What you’d expect of most Novembers. No more. At least not today.

Today we have blue skies, bright sun, and The Mountain is out. Too often Rainier hides on even the sunniest summer days. Unseasonably warm weather is nothing new here in Rainier’s lap. A few years ago when my cousin and her husband visited from Virginia in January. She grew up here, so she’s used to our wonderfully weird weather, but he looked around at the glorious day and said, “This is January?”

Mount Rainier often looks like this, no matter the time of year.

This afternoon it was warm enough for me to sit outside on my balcony and write in my journal. Of course, I had to bundle up: sweats, slippers and socks, puffy jacket and, my handknit (by my own hands) fingerless gloves. No hat. Open jacket. It was delightful. Fresh air. Great view. Ignoring the rumble of traffic. Ignoring the first day of NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month.

Writing a fifty thousand-word novel in thirty days, more than six and a half pages a day is no snap, but it can be done. I’ve done it twice. I’ve also failed to do it two, maybe three, other times. It’s easier during a November like the one Hood described when there’s nothing to tempt me to go outside.

About halfway through the first novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo, I came to hate it. I plowed on anyway because I wanted the sense of accomplishment and the little certificate of completion that I’d get at the end. Another reason I kept going was in hopes of building a daily writing habit. It didn’t work. Nothing came of the novel. It’s still sitting on my hard drive. I haven’t once looked at it in eight years. However, by one measure I succeeded. Until that writing challenge, I did all my writing in longhand. On paper. But there was no way I was going to transcribe six and two-thirds pages from paper to a Word document. For the first time ever, I wrote everything on my computer. And I got my certificate!

The second time I completed the challenge, I had a very rough draft, not much more than a detailed outline, of a novel that I love. Another bonus is that this time I developed the daily writing habit that I was after. That was six years ago.

For this year’s NaNoWriMo, I’ll be working on a sequel to a non-NaNo novel I also love that I wrote during those in-between years. As always, I have my doubts. Will I enjoy writing the sequel as much as I enjoyed writing the original? Do I have enough material for a second book? Do I have enough stamina and will to write another novel when I haven’t even sold the other one? Time will tell. If tomorrow is as nice as today, I’ll go out on my balcony with my journal and pen and write about writing, trying to answer those very questions.





4 thoughts on “November First: NaNoWriMo and I”

  1. I’ve never undertaken NaNo. My hat’s off to anyone who does. You’ve succeeded twice; you can do it again–if you want to. And if you don’t, well, that’s OK too! Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good job . . . does need a correction. You have the same paragraph in twice, Yikes.

    For this year’s NaNoWriMo, I’ll be working on a sequel to a non-NaNo novel I also love that I wrote during those in-between years. As always, I have my doubts. Will I enjoy writing the sequel as much as I enjoyed writing the original? Do I have enough material for a second book? Do I have enough stamina and will to write another novel when I haven’t even sold the other one? Time will tell. If tomorrow is as nice as today, I’ll go out on my balcony with my journal and pen and write about writing, trying to answer those very questions.On 11/1/2020 6:03 PM, Come, Follow My Blog wrote: > WordPress.com > dpedece posted: ” Halloween is one of four yearly cross-quarter days > that fall between equinoxes and solstices. That means we’re more than > halfway through autumn on the way to winter. You couldn’t tell by > today’s weather. It’s nothing like the month in Thomas Hood’s p” >

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