Something NaNo this way comes

nano_09_red_participant_120x240.pngWell, gentle readers, it’s that time again.  With thirty days left in the month of October, I have once again signed up for the infamous National Novel Writing Month challenge. This will be my fourth year participating, and (we can always hope) the year that I actually reach the goal of writing 50,000 words in thirty days.

It’s funny, really.  Every year I surprise myself with how excited I get about this silly little challenge.  I made sure that my user name was still active two months ago.  When I saw that they would be starting fresh for this season’s NaNoWriMo today, I found myself checking the website every 15 minutes so that I could get a glimpse of the brand new badges (like the one to your right).  I even know what I’m going to write about, and I really have to restrain myself from starting to write right now.  It’s sad, I know, but it just proves that I’m not doing a bad thing by participating.

I have a bad reputation for starting NaNoWriMo with high hopes and well thought-out plans, and for letting the whole thing flush unceremoniously down the commode.  With that said, there really isn’t a good reason to think that I’ll miraculously earn the coveted “winner” badge to display proudly wherever images are proudly displayed.

I’ll tell you what, though, gentle readers, after three consecutive years of not winning, I’m more determined than ever to meet the challenge.  Despite my bad track record, some things have changed from years past that might give me a snowball’s chance in hell:

Years past: My state’s music teachers association’s state conference sucked up a huge portion of my precious time.

This year: I have resigned my post as Conference Registrar, meaning that I will actually have a life in the month of November.  Let some other schmuck do it.

Years past: Editing my state’s music teachers association’s annual yearbook, the biggest and most important publication of the year, required more of my attention than I was willing to give.

This year: As with the position of Conference Registrar, I have sort of resigned my post as Yearbook Editor.  I say “sort of” because I have agreed to temporarily remain on call as Co-Editor, but this title is mainly given out of respect for my willingness to help my replacement not completely screw everything up.  Either way, I expect to have a lot more free time.

Years past: Thanksgiving was spent in a house that was so lovely it makes my heart ache not to be in it, but that was over six hours away.  Driving that distance takes a lot of time and energy away from writing.

This year: Thanksgiving will be spent either here or at my parents house, which is only an hour away.  Also, since I took on most of the Thanksgiving feast preparations last year (believe me, I am in no way complaining), I now know what exactly is involved and can be even more time and energy efficient so as to maximize my holiday writing.

Years past: Pulling creative bits of fiction from my brain, despite extensive planning, proved to be much more difficult than I had expected.  I ended up writing myself into a corner, not knowing where to go next.

This year: I have decided to take a semi-autobiographical route.  Since I have a wealth of memories built up over the last almost-thirty years, I don’t expect to have as much of a problem thinking of things to write about.

Years past: I did not have an iPod Touch.

This year: I do have an iPod Touch.  That doesn’t really make a difference in the grand scheme of novel writing, but I thought I should mention it.

Over the past three years of participating in NaNoWriMo, I may have broken the 50,000-word barrier collectively.  I know I passed 31,000 words last year.  The years before weren’t so great; I may have averaged 15,000 words the two years before that.  Given that the trend is on the upswing, the odds are in my favor that I may come close enough to my goal to push through to the end.

Of course, there is a part of me that feels like Bruce McCullough’s shrimpy little Napoleonic fighter that picks a fight with the tough guy twice his size, who (no matter how many times he is punched out, and despite pleas from his girlfriend, the crowd gathered around him and even the monster he is fighting) won’t admit that he’s bitten off more than he can chew and just will not stay down.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gary
    Oct 02, 2009 @ 10:59:24

    BEST of luck to you Megan! You can do it! 😀


  2. Otto Mann
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 10:48:43

    You are going to destroy this! In a good way, of course. 🙂


  3. Anne Glovier
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 16:05:30

    Do it Meg – do it for all of us. : 0 )


  4. Shayne Power
    Oct 15, 2009 @ 06:00:02

    Hi Megan. I stuck my head in here last year in your equivalent pre-NaNo post. Good luck to you this year. I actually managed to win last year after two terrible attempts in previous years. I documented what I did here, maybe it might give you something to add to your armoury.


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