Well, I finally did it. After years of hearing about it (and even, I’ll admit, scoffing about it), I registered for NaNoWriMo. I first heard of this annual event from Diarylander whose diary I used to read.

Do I think I can finish a novel in a month? I don’t know. But I do know that perhaps the support of a community of other writers all trying to do the same will probably help. At any rate, I can’t say I have even started a novel since the first time I heard about NaNoWriMo about five years ago, much less finished one, so I guess joining up certainly can’t hurt.

If you are participating, and I know some of you are, please let me know what your username is so I can add you as a Writing Buddy. Here is my NaNoWriMo profile. Meanwhile, you can see this thing in progress (of a sort). On the top, you will see my navigation bar now includes a link to my NaNoWriMo Wiki. At this point it is pretty bare (as it should be, since I just started thinking today). I am not supposed to start writing until November, and I won’t, but nothing I could find said I shouldn’t start thinking and planning, so I’m doing that. When I wrote my first novel, I don’t think wikis were around. I think it will be a sort of online notebook I can use to keep my files together. I had a big, blue notebook for my last book, and I used it all the time. My last novel is currently languishing on an old computer we longer use. Some time I need to hook it up and at least retrieve the novel off it. I will fully admit I don’t know the first thing about marketing a novel, and I haven’t had the fire in my belly to search out appropriate resources. Some day, though. I keep saying that!

Why did I decide to do this? Well, this has been the first really cold morning of the fall. I can admit finally that fall is here. Fall feeds my creative juices. It is my favorite season. Fall makes me happy to be alive. I suppose there is too much of the Old Celt in me somewhere deep, and I recognize it as the New Year much more than January 1. I have been thinking about NaNoWriMo for several days. Sort of a nagging inside somewhere. I read someone else’s blog, and the writer said they had registered. Ever since, the notion wouldn’t leave. I can’t even remember where I read it now, which makes me feel really bad. This morning, I was cuddled up in under the covers with The Thirteenth Tale. I’m only a few chapters in, but this is already so obviously a book-lover’s book. The urge to create a book welled up inside, and I said, “All right! I’ll register already!”

Of course, I thought that would give me some peace, but I should have known then that the urge to get started would be too much too fight, so I did a little bit of planning.

Who was my protagonist? The name Charlotte Penny came to me out of nowhere. She sort of sat down on the edge of my bed and said “Now what?” She’s sitting there, blinking at me. She has Victorian dress and a British accent, so I suppose she must be from Victorian England. She is clutching a handkerchief. I have no idea why. She has red-gold hair like Maggie and stormy gray eyes. She might be Jewish or have a Jewish background, but if so, she is most likely crypto-Jewish and doesn’t know all the practices; this is a secret she hides.

Aside from that, I don’t know much about her, aside from the fact that her staring at me a blinking like that is making me want to figure out more.

Of course, Maggie isn’t having any of that, and I have an egregious headache brought on by my loud, stubbon, exuberant five-year-old. She is going to be my biggest obstacle to getting any writing done. I can feel it already.


6 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo

  1. I've heard about NaNoWriMo for years, but I've never participated. I don't think I will be able to this year, either, but I will be following yours. Good luck!

  2. Good luck with your novel! It sounds interesting already. I love good characters and it sounds like Charlotte Penny could be a great one. Are people allowed to read as you go along? Sorry, I don't know much about NaNoWriMo, but, like you, have heard about it for years. It sounds likes such a good motivator. I hope you have fun with it and I'm sure you'll produce a wonderful story.

  3. So proud of you! I tried it last year and well, let's just say a 2 year old and NaNoWriMo don't mix but I am in awe of those who make it work – it is such a great challenge – let us know how it is going!

  4. Thanks, ladies. As to whether you can read the work in progress, I don't know. If I decide it's any good and want to pursue publication, some publishers might consider it previously published if I post it as I go. On the other hand, you can follow the progress of sorts at the wiki.

  5. Hi Dana!

    My NaNoWriMo user name is: Jasia 😉

    I'm glad to know you're going to participate in the NaNoWriMo too! I've added you to my buddy list. It sounds like you're doing historical fiction too. So am I. There aren't too many us out there (percentage wise). It seems like most people I come across are writing sci fi/fantasy.

    Good luck! Let's keep in touch!


  6. Hi Dana

    Your blog sounds at times a little like me…. and I've already signed up for Nanowrimo, which is where I got the link to you. Here I am in spring sunshine in New Zealand and I'm wondering if my toddler will sleep enough during November for me to tap a few words of my, so far, non-existent novel. Good luck. I'll keep an eye on how you are doing!

    Misty Ridge

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