Nanowrimo: The Panic Begins

Nanowrimo starts in a week, and up until yesterday, I wasn’t overly excited. Why? Because after re-thinking the 50,000 words in 30 days pledge, I realised just how bloody crazy that is.

What the hell was I thinking?

I have my Nano novel idea ready to go. I’ve deliberately been not researching and not doing character profiles (not too indepth anyway) and not overthinking the plot. I am basing my Nano novel on four basic plot points. I have the start and end points, and a rough idea (if only in my head) of what could happen in between.

And yet to be able to write all of that, in at least 50,000 words and in 30 days whilst still working four days a week, and trying to maintain some semblance of a life?

I started hyperventilating. My chest began to tighten, and I thought I was going to have some sort of panic-induced attack of writer-self-doubt. Wifey would come home from work to see me balled up in the corner of my study, rocking back and forth, muttering incoherantly.

So what did I do? I made myself a strong coffee in a big mug, and sat outside in the sunshine on the deck. Then, in a caffeine-induced haze of bravado, I came back inside, cleaned off my white-board, wrote down the bare bones of my Nano plot, and then started writing in my Nano diary.

I wrote down all the crap that my self-doubt was trying to sabotage me with, and made myself some pretty easy goals. I thought about my long-term writing goals and wrote them down too. I realised that there are two possible scenarios that could happen by the end of November:

1. I could end up with a crap-load of dross in 50,000 words

or

2. I could end up with no novel

And the worst case for me would be to end up with nothing. It is afterall what I’ve started with. If I manage to do this, regardless of what happens at the end of it, I will be 50,000 words closer to having a publishable novel.

So the decision is made – at least for today – that I will forge ahead, and in seven days time be sitting eagerly at my keyboard, typing out the first word of my 50,000 word Nano masterpiece.

I hope you can come along for the ride.

Now, I’m off to work out what treats I want to fill my study with as an incentive to write. At the end of November, my head will be 50,000 words lighter, but my body may well be 50,000 words worth of treats heavier.

This is the first in a number of posts over the next 37 days about Nano. If you couldn’t give a flying frog about my Nano journey, I’m totally happy for you to come back after it’s all over. I still intend on doing my Sunday Sesh posts though, and promise to make them a Nano-free zone.

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