Shelley Widhalm

The NaNoWriMo Challenge

In 52: A Writer's Life, NaNoWriMo, Shelley Widhalm, Writing on November 3, 2013 at 11:00 am

For the first time, I am taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge.

Every year I come up with multiple reasons why I don’t want to participate, such as: I work; I’m tired; I’m not disciplined enough to write daily; and, best of all, I’m already in the middle of a novel.

This year I am not writing a novel, because of the pleasure of procrastination and the excuse that I’m editing another novel. I’ve convinced myself that I can only work on one major writing project at a time.

Hardly true, considering that as a reporter, I don’t write one article, then go onto the next, but write several articles at once – otherwise, I’d be given one of those pretty pink slips.

Throwing all excuses and insecurities aside, I am committed to write by the end of this month a young adult, coming-of-age novel that I’ve been pondering for months.

I’m participating in the annual novel writing project that brings together writers worldwide who aim to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That is 1,666 words a day, totally doable, because when I write I aim for 1,000 to 2,000 words.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to do fast writing, not actually to write something perfect. You can write a crappy first draft and just let go, expelling the cranky editor, procrastinator and creative excuse maker.

So far, I’ve written 6,017 words, but 3,249 words were from an outline and short story starter I wrote last month.

Each Sunday, I will check in and let you know about the process of daily writing, as well as give tips on daily dedication, motivation and inspiration.

So, here’s to NaNoWriMo!

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