I believe I warned you earlier, but if I have not, today I have started NaNoWriMo 2015. For those of you unaware of this charming endeavor, the letters stand for National Novel Writing Month. The theory is that one commits to writing 50,000 words in the month of November on a book, preferably new, with the assumption that one will put one’s Inner Editor on hold, in detention, on vacation, or wherever you send it when it’s in the way. The main purpose of this practice is simple. It is training to put oneself in front of the computer, the typewriter, the pad of paper, or the dictation device, for a set period of every day. It is to develop the habit of writing, and writing everyday.
This is a refresher course for me. I participated in two camps (Camp NaNoWriMo) in the spring and summer of 2014. I wrote very well for several months after the second one, in between editing and rewriting and all the other day to day tasks we undertake when trying to complete a book. So they worked. But over the last several months, my life has been divided between the writing world (represented by my writers workshop) and politics. It’s rare for me to get personally involved in politics, since I virtually never am committed to any candidate in particular, and use the smell test to vote. I vote for the one I don’t have to hold my nose so hard to vote for him/her.
I lost the habit of writing for Bernie Sanders. I committed gobs and gobs of hours to his cause, volunteering several days a week at his headquarters here in Burlington. And a funny thing happened. As I was so involved, the urge to write disappeared. I would pick up my WIP after a successful day of work for my favoritest candidate ever, and have not a glimmer of an idea where the story went next. As I am a pantser, I need a character to tell me what to do, and they could not be found. Since I have the better part of 28,000 words on my current story, this is an awful dilemma. I care about the story, and I’m vaguely interested in continuing it, but the characters have stayed mum for the past four months.
It was time to take the bull by the horns, or whatever your chosen cliche is. With NaNoWriMo approaching, there was a fall-off in the number of hours of work at HQ caused in large measure by the opening of offices in other areas, including several states and DC, which meant that we were no longer doing everything for the campaign. And while this is a very good sign for the campaign, not so much for a gung-ho volunteer. Hmmmm, I wondered. Did NaNo just appear at the right time?
So I signed up, and started to write again on my story. Well, I’m over 2600 words for the day, taking this break to share with you. Amazing how easy (HA!) it is when I actually start it. It’s bedtime, and I’m going to call it a day. But the wheels are oiled and the engine is beginning to turn over. Look out, world, I’m coming at you again!