I mean, I’m prepared for it. I have an outline, at least. It’s about six paragraphs long, and as I write, I’m breaking each “chapter” or section out into sub-sections, scenes, whatever else needs to go in there. (And I’m documenting it all so I can put together a Scrivener tutorial for y’alls. Soon. At some point. Maybe once the madness is over. You’re welcome.)
But “madness” is really a misnomer. National Novel Writing Month–writing 50,000 words in 30 days–isn’t all that spectacularly hard, as much as it’s cracked up to be. It only asks for 1,667 words each day, which–if you’re efficient, if you have an idea of where you’re going already–shouldn’t take more than two hours, three if you’re out of practice (which, after your sixth day or so, will also go away).
In the end, it’s not that big of a commitment, not any more than showering regularly, brushing your teeth or putting on makeup. Maybe add cooking breakfast and you’ve got your writing quota met for the day. (Come on. I’m sure you spend more time than that binge-watching Breaking Bad or Once Upon a Time each day. Don’t give me that look.)
And yet, still, it’s scary and exciting and motivating. It’s an excuse to dedicate myself to writing for a month. A whole month! About just writing good fiction! I have work, obviously, and at least a semblance of a social life to maintain, but there will definitely be some duties shirked in the next 30 days. Some people I won’t get to see. Some days when I probably won’t leave the house. (Oh, wait, I’m a freelancer. I do that anyway. Hmm.)
The sandwich delivery guy and I will get to know each other a little better; we already bonded over hating Michael Bay for destroying our childhoods and attempting to make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into aliens. My kitchen and I will get to know each other a little less. My roommate will probably think I’m a slob. Not that she doesn’t already, so, what’s to lose?
It’s all for the sake of a book–and if there’s anything I’m willing to sacrifice for, it’s writing books.
This week hasn’t been the strongest of starts, what with spending most of it being behind on contract work. But I’m ready now to slink under the covers and dedicate myself to making Animal a reality.
So, I hope you all are ready, my fellow participants, my friends who are not participating, the observers quietly mocking us from the corner.