NaNoWriMo: Altered and Undone

Twenty years ago, when I first heard of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I thought, “Whoa. That’s madness.”

But I was also intrigued.

The next week year, I gave it a try, and I loved it.

Did I write the best novel ever? No. Of course not. Some folks complain about NaNoWriMo producing too many bad novels, but…so what? No one is making you read them. They’re drafts. And they can become good novels.

I don’t know why people get so bothered with how other people spend their time. (Obviously I mean time spent making weird things, following offbeat dreams, and otherwise finding delight in the whimsical and odd. We should be more than bothered about people who use their time to harass and harm.) I hear people say things like, “[So-and-so] has too much free time.” Such a line might make sense if that So-and-so is engaging in destructive behavior, but it’s never made sense to me when it comes to So-and-so making something that brings them happiness. And it isn’t as if the person claiming to know who has too much free time is curing cancer or saving democracy with every minute of their day. We all waste time on things someone else thinks is stupid. So, maybe don’t throw that stone. Maybe use that stone in a craft project!

Oi. That isn’t what I wanted to focus on, however! (Tangents are my weakness.)

About NaNoWriMo.

I want to participate in NaNo. I love the energy of it. I’ve never been a joiner, but those first NaNoWriMo years taught me there were groups I could enjoy. I made friends at write-ins. I had fun. And I had stories on the page by the end of the month.

But golly, this year…my work schedule is taking a lot out of me this year. I like the work, but the schedule…I really hope I don’t have this schedule for the rest of my life. And I have a slew of projects I’m trying to finish. And I have family and friends and books to read, closets to organize, and an art fair to prepare for. Taking part in a true NaNo would be foolish (though I have a character and story to tell!).

Hence, NaNoWriMo: Altered and Undone. This is going to be my own version of NaNo. Why? Because I want to. I’m planning a mini-draft for the character I have in mind, and I will finish the last draft of The Fairy Tale Asylum. (Beta readers gave me lots of feedback, and I’ve been derailed on rewrites, but am getting back into it TODAY.) And some article ideas are brewing too. Those will be written. Really, I’m not sure what the month will look like, but I will be writing every day.

Send magic. I’m going to need it.

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