Hidden amidst the costumes, the piles of candy, and the pumpkin spice coffees, dodging past Winnifred Sanderson, Michael Myers, Pennywise and Chucky- just beyond the veil of Halloween, a mystical adventure awaits the daring writer brave (or crazy) enough to wield their pen like a scabbard and charge into the unknown foray of the blank page. That is right, my dear literary lovelies, Nano is just around the corner. As in a couple of days away. The hourglass of October is nearly spent, the precious Nano prep time is coming to a close, and soon the curtains will part for November as the main attraction commences.
I will be honest with you, for all of the time I have spent organizing myself for November- I still don’t feel anywhere near being ready for the month. I don’t think I have ever starting November 1st feeling fully prepared, and perhaps that is where the adventure truly is. It’s all about walking into the challenge with the nervous anticipation clawing at you, asking whether you can make it or not. Will you take the castle, or retreat to find a dragon to help you slay your literary foes in December? We shall find out together, my friends.
As per the usual, it is time to make my writing goals for the next month. The past few months I have been working on finishing old projects- mainly in the form of editing. And while I haven’t found as much success with these projects as I had hoped, I think this is a theme that I need to carry on with throughout the year. This is a year of finishing, of tying up my loose ends so that I can move forward with confidence into whatever 2017 has in store for me. And so, my Nano project is going to be an old one that needs some new life breathed into it. I’m going to be picking up a project I started in Camp Nano this last summer. I didn’t get very far into it, and what I did manage to do needs a complete re-write. So I’m taking that old idea and creating something new. The benefits: I know a little bit about how these characters act and how to make them translate on the page. The cons: everything that I had before is essentially being scrapped, so I will be starting with a clean slate. I’m excited to get it going, to finish it. It’s an idea that I find intriguing, and I am curious how it will play out. I have my general plot figured out, but I always leave a lot of extra wiggle room when I plot so that I have the ability to adjust if the story starts steering me in a new direction halfway through.
In the spirit of the ‘out of this world’ Nano theme we have going this year, I am going to be shooting for the stars: it will be a ‘go big or go home’ Nano. This could either be an epic year, or it could spark and fizzle out before the month is up. I guess we shall see. So, on to the goals:
Naturally, my minimum word count goal is 50,000, courtesy of the Nano challenge. But this year I am going to make yet another attempt at the crazy, coveted goal of 100,000 words. I have tried to hit this mark for a couple years now, but I have not managed to make it. I usually start to slow down and come to a screeching halt at about the 75k mark- a milestone I am still incredibly proud of, but I deeply desire to hit that ever illusive goal, mainly because I have tried and failed so many times in the past.
Second: I am going to try to post every day of the month (gasp). This is yet another goal that I have striven for the past couple of months, but haven’t even come close to. I’ve been struggling lately with the blog, and I think it’s been pretty apparent. Life has been incredibly busy, and I feel like I’ve lost my voice. The best way to fight this little struggle is to embrace it. I need to nurture my daily habits until I start to see myself again in my work. I have to push through my self-imposed barriers to remember who I am as a writer. So if you see me waning on occasion, feel free to leave a comment and kick me in the booty- there is nothing more motivating than the people who are fighting right alongside me.
I am so excited and yet also incredibly nervous. I am terrified that I am taking on more than I can handle, after all, the holidays are upon us, and that has always been a busy time for my family. Then again, if I want this type of life, these are the challenges that I must give myself every single day. This is my favorite time of year, and I get to immerse myself in my favorite activity. Whether I get a gold star on my goals or not- at least I am still out here trying. That’s really all I can ask of myself.
So today- after the football game, of course (GO HAWKS!), I will finish getting myself ready for November. I will work through the Mount Everest pile of laundry I have waiting for me (it’s embarrassingly awful at this point, but I wasn’t kidding when I said life has been busy, I haven’t even had time for this simple chore). I will clean the house and figure out a few simple meal plans for the moth. Then I will be off to the store to stock up on some of my favorite snacks and drinks (tea time for the win! And perhaps a few Hershey kisses as word count rewards). I will go on the Nano website and stare longingly at the travel mug I hope to reward myself with if I hit 100k. I will go over my prep work one more time and make a few minor adjustments. Then I will take a little bit of time to relax with the book I hope to finish by tomorrow (otherwise it will be a long month before I get a chance to read the conclusion).
Tomorrow I will let myself fully enjoy the excitement of Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. I will settle in and watch Hocus Pocus and The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. And then when the clock strikes midnight, I will begin my daring adventure. Care to join me, my friends?