Counting Down to the Biggest Writing Challenge of the Year

The other day we went to Sydney. It was rather
an adventure. We travelled on 5 trains in one day. Sophie and Gemma-Rose were
delighted. They’d never travelled on a train before.
I thought the girls would want to sit by the window with
their eyes glued to all the sights rushing past. I was quite surprised when
Sophie refused the window seat. She had something else she wanted to do rather
than stare out at the scenery. She dug deep into her bag and brought out a notebook
and pen.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m making notes for my NaNoWriMo novel.”
NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Yes, there’s only
20 days before the biggest writing challenge of the year kicks off, and my girls
are busy preparing. No time to gaze out train windows.
The girls have been carrying their notebooks everywhere,
jotting down ideas as they come to mind. They all want to start November with a
NaNoWriMo novel plan… except Gemma-Rose.
“I’ll just write my novel as it comes to mind. It’s more fun
that way,” says my youngest daughter.
I have to agree. Novel writing without a plan is a big
adventure. There’s no knowing where I’ll end up.
But Imogen, Charlotte and Sophie have gone the adventurous
pathway before. “If you plan, you get off to a better start. You don’t have to
do so much editing later,” Imogen tells me.
I agree with her too. Sometimes a new story comes alive
halfway through a novel and then the beginning is useless. Or a character
develops in an unexpected way, and then lots of changes have to be made to the
early chapters.
“Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year, Mum?” Charlotte asks me.
I am inclined to say no. “I still have two novel manuscripts
I haven’t finished editing from last year and the year before,” I reply. “I don’t
need a third one. I’ll continue blogging while you write novels.”
The girls look disappointed because we always spend November
writing together. It won’t be the same if I’m not word counting and discussing
progress too. Then I have an idea. I change my mind. “What if I write a continuous
blog post as my novel?” I ask. “I could call it Lots of Blog. Later I could
edit it as a series of blog posts.”
The girls like my idea. So that’s what I’m going to do.
But wait… My last blog post was 886 words long. I have to
write 50 000 words. That means I will need to write 56 ½ blog posts in one
month. That’s nearly 2 blog posts a day. Can I do that? That’s a bigger
challenge than the A-Z Blogging Challenge. But I suppose I don’t have to write
edited posts. I can just let the words flow, the more the better, and edit
properly once November is over. I shall give it a go.
So is anyone else planning a NaNoWriMo adventure? Perhaps
your family is going to spend November watching word counts rise, as characters
come alive, in fast paced novels that keep going in unexpected directions.
If you’d like to know more about NaNoWriMo you could visit
their website. There’s a Young Writer’s Program for children too. I’ll also add some links to a couple of other posts about novel writing month.

If you do decide to take up the challenge, be sure to let us
know so we can all be writing buddies!
PS I just had a look at the NaNoWriMo gadget in my side-bar. It no longer tells the world I successfully wrote more than 50 000 words in 2012. It has been reset. It’s waiting. It expects me to start writing on the first day of November. I guess that means I really am doing NaNoWriMo this year!
Image: Just Write by Sean MacEntee, (CC by 2.0)
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    • Eva
    • October 10, 2013

    I wish I could join, but I struggle so much with even writing a short blog post these days. I marvel at how much you get posted/written. I seem to be drowning in housework and college grading right now. Maybe in ten years :). Good luck anyway.

    1. Reply


      It sounds like I have much more free time than you. I don't work outside the home like you do. And I sometimes ignore the housework! We spend a lot of our unschooling hours writing too. It's easier to write when everyone else wants to do it as well.

      You might not feel able to do NaNoWriMo at the moment but I'm in awe of all you do accomplish in your day. One day we might write novels together in November. Thank you so much for stopping by and wishing me luck!

      • Eva
      • October 18, 2013

      "Free time," what is that :)? I ignore my housework too, way too often I have to say. Then it just piles up and makes me miserable. Actually, Charlotte is doing a writing course at the co-op. She has to write and illustrate her own book. Jonathan has been working on a novel for quite a while now about a knight. I guess they are writing on their own and are not just doing book reports or history essays. Just I am not really writing.

      • Eva
      • October 18, 2013

      Oh, and thanks about your nice words about my accomplishments. Sometimes I wonder if I really accomplish anything.

    2. Reply


      Would Charlotte and Jonathon enjoy doing NaNoWriMo? There's a young writers' program and a nice community. There's an interesting book called No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty which talks about finding writing time. I guess most people don't have stretches of free time to devote to writing. I'm very fortunate. My biggest problem is not starting… you know, checking FB and answering emails and putting off the moment I start typing!

      Eva, you have beautiful children who are learning wonderful things. I'm sure you accomplish a great deal!

    3. Reply


      Here's the link for the Young Writers' Programs: There's still 4 days until NaNoWriMo begins. Plenty of time if your children want to sign up!

      I spend a lot of time answering blog comments too, Eva. I know a lot of people don't do this, but I like chatting to everyone who is kind enough to stop by. I know you do too! I always enjoy swapping comments with you, here and on your own blog. I know you are very busy though (and you've been unwell) so I understand if sometimes you can't continue the conversation.

      I hope you are recovering from your cold!

    4. Reply


      I'm glad to hear you're getting better! It must be hard keeping up with everything when you're not feeling your best. If Jonathon and Charlotte decide to do NaNoWriMo they could be writing buddies with my girls. Just let us know!

      • Eva
      • October 27, 2013

      Where do I find out about the young writers' program? I put a hold at the library on that writing book. Thanks for the recommendation. I know, sometimes even the computer is distracting. I do get a lot of e-mail, half of it is college/work related. Of course I have to take care of those messages first. I'm not on Facebook, but answering blog commentaries also requires lots of time sometimes.

      Thanks for the last sentence, Sue.

      • Eva
      • October 27, 2013

      Thanks for the link. I'll show it to Jonathan and Charlotte. I have noticed that you answer all your comments in detail and really appreciate your friendly replies. It makes blogging much more interesting and worthwhile.

      My cold is slowly getting better, I got some nasal spray from the doctor and hope that this will help.

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