Today is November 2. To most people, this means nothing. For hundreds of thousands, though, it is the second day of NaNoWriMo. They have 28 days left to reach the lofty goal of writing a 50,000-word novel. From scratch.
I have a friend who has taken on this challenge for the past four years. I watched from the sidelines. She struggled through and persevered each year. It never felt as if I would have the dedication to do the same, and what’s the point of starting, if I wouldn’t finish?
But I didn’t used to feel that way. When I was in middle school, I wrote a couple short novels for my own amusement. Only my immediate family had the privilege and honor of reading them. For some time, I imagined I would one day be a full-time, professional author of fiction. J. K. Rowling inspired me. I, too, would have my wildly popular, mass-marketed, world-changing fantasy series.
Now I realize a full day at home, by myself, on my computer, attempting to write for a living, would not be productive and by no means enjoyable. I can see myself breaking down into a frustrated mess, hiding under blankets on the floor to escape the empty Word document on my computer screen. Needless to say, this is not the future I wish for myself.
Rather, it makes me perfectly happy to continue writing in my free time as the fancy strikes me. Then on October 30, I remembered the season had come around yet again to feverishly type into the early hours until a work of art (more or less) emerges. I no longer have homework and studying to steal my sleep, so I thought, why not this year? What could it hurt? Besides my sanity, I mean.
I started last night on my November “novel,” which is actually going to look more like Blue Like Jazz than Harry Potter. That’s the hope, at least. I doubt my experiment will be worthy of a national bestseller or global phenomenon. The book will be a compilation of personal essays, much to do with my experiences as a young Christian woman. A confession of faith, you might say. I mentioned this idea before in my post “Movie Adaptations and the Real-Life Stories.” So far, I’ve written 414 words. This post update will have to cut short, and I’ll work on those 49,586 words left to go.