I have a new project.
I am participating in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to write 50,000 words during the month of November, which averages out to around 1,700 words a day. At this point there are 172,000 hopeful authors participating, and more than 190,000,000 words written in two days. The prize at the end of the month? The beginnings or completion of a novel.
I have always felt like I had a book inside of me, but for some reason I never envisioned a novel. I was always thinking non-fiction rather than fiction. But I have never sat down to write anything of any length, so whatever work I imagined was just that, imagined.
So I am using the November challenge to get off my butt and finally get something longer than a blog post down on paper. After a couple of days, I am finding 1,700 words a day to be a challenge. But that is one of the stated goals of NaNoWriMo - to turn off your inner editor, and just get the words down on paper as fast as you can. I am doing my best not to pore over every word, and I have been relatively successful. But the ideas and words are coming slowly so far.
Part of it was I didn't come into this with an outline. I really just had an opening scene, and not much else. I have no real idea where the story will go, but that is part of the adventure. So far I have mixed feelings. I am happy with what I have so far (though I haven't gone back to read it), but the rest of the story is not becoming any clearer (yet).
The plan is to write every day, make it a habit, and get into some sort of rhythm. Hopefully I will stretch my creative legs, and knock down those imagined barriers I have thrown up in the past (particularly that inner critic and editor). Once the month is over, the plan is to set whatever I have written aside for a few weeks. After some time away, I will go back and read it with fresh eyes. Hopefully I will find something salvageable, though in need of plenty of changes and corrections.
But for now the red pen stays in the drawer.