My New Challenge

Getting back in shape after 5 months in a post-surgical deep freeze plus urging my oh-so-menopausal metabolism to shed the last 20 pounds are not enough of a challenge for me. <cough> I have decided to take on something that is way/weigh beyond those health goals. Writing a novel.

I am setting my goal low by participating in the literary frenzy known as National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is the link to the home page. Every November, thousands of idiots overachievers strive to put down 50,000 words of fiction to “win” a certificate. There are very few rules except it has to be fiction, one cannot use work started before November 1, and one must type more than the same word 50,000 times. Seems easy, huh? 1667 words per day for 30 days. Apparently the key is no editing – just write. Editing comes later. Of course this length is not enough for a real book, but it is enough to make me write daily – a lot – and decide if I really want to go for longer version fiction or just continue to piddle around with short stories. I have no excuse this year. I’m scared, scared my idea sucks, scared my years of technical writing have warped me forever (writing workshops be damned). Wait, sounds a lot like setting myself up for failure. Hey, I have lost almost 140 pounds! I can write 50,000 words no one will ever read but me AND have fun doing it!

Anyone want to join?


22 thoughts on “My New Challenge

  1. Oh, I think this is incredible!!! I wish I could do it this year, but there’s just no way (between bar study, full time work, the new blog, the separate ethics exam at the beginning of the month, and a trip home over Thanksgiving) this year. I’m fully supportive of you doing this. I think it’s wonderful, and the no editing rule should free you up to just keep moving forward. I look forward to hearing how it goes for you… and maybe reading snippets?

    • This is the first year that I have no excuse. I also have a very teeny plot idea so far, little in the way of character development (like none), and trusting in the muse that guides Stephen King to be so prolific

  2. I’m a new reader of your blog – I have many of your archives to go through! What little I’ve read intrigues me. This writing-a-novel-in-a-month sounds exciting. Perhaps more excitement than this old soul can handle. Funny part about it is that I just a few days ago ordered a couple of books (How to Write a Mystery and How to Write a Damn Good Mystery). As you mentioned, a history of technical writing isn’t the easiest thing to translate into a novel – especially since what I wrote were manuals on how to run a submarine! LOL Looking forward to following your adventures in novel-land, and maybe your courage will rub off on me.

    • Welcome! My journey to health blog seems to have morphed into a “this is my life” blog.

      I enjoy mysteries tremendously. PD James, Elizabeth George, Ruth Rendell, Agatha Christie (no matter how simply worded her books) are some of the authors that recur on my shelves and now in my iPad. Wonder why I gravitate to women writers more?

      Do you have a blog or website?
      Oooh, were you actually a submariner?

      • No, no blog – I’ve never thought I had anything interesting to say! I wasn’t a submariner, just worked at the General Dynamics shipyard where they are designed and built. My job was to turn “engineering-ese” into language that the submariners could understand.

        Your blog is GREAT, Jan! Thanks!

  3. This sounds like the perfect motivation to get you going! I’m not a writer but I will be cheering you on as you make progress and I hope you give us updates about how you are doing.

    • You are a writer, Tami. Your blog is an amazingly creative writing outlet, not to mention a display for your cooking prowess!

  4. I am no writer. I admire those who can. I LOVE to read all kinds of books. Maybe I’ll get to read your someday! Good luck

    • Ann, you are a pretty prolific blogger. That certainly counts as writing. Your style keeps us coming back for more. Do not minimize your success in this!

  5. Congratulations for taking the leap! Every year I think about joining in, but November is a terrible month for me. I need to make February my CaMoWriMo. 🙂

    Be sure to keep us updated on your progress!

    • I will remind you this February 😉 According to the originator of NaNoWriMo, it works because there is a deadline. I know deadlines were the only reason that I ever completed a grant on time!

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  7. Jan, what an inspiring woman you are! Doing NaNoWriMo is a great new challenge…who knows where all those creative juices will lead you. Good luck!

    • Thank you for the encouraging words. The video on your blog is hilarious! I’m afraid my characters are as one-dimensional as those in a pornographic movie at this time. Great line, hmm… 😉

    • I am soooooooo glad that you are signing up. I understand that if you really just write, no editing, it takes about 2 hours a day. (insert crazy laughter)

      I have given up on a plot before starting, and I am just trying to put characters in a situation then see where that leads. Again, no one but the button drawer of my desk will ever see this.

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    • Beginning to think writing fiction is beyond my ability also, but the practice of writing everyday is a habit that I want to get learn. Kinda like exercising consistently.

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