I've been aware of NaNoWriMo for a few years now. I knew what it entailed; a group of writers coming together to take part in a month long writing frenzy. And I knew it wasn't for me. Seriously, who's got time to write 50,000 words in one month on top of all their other duties? Not me.
But the buzz wouldn't die down. Each year, more and more people spoke about it, facebook statuses and author forums were full of it, and I learned that last year's participants topped 200,000, writing a total of 2.8 billion words, (between them, obviously, not each!). And... more importantly, bona fine novels were coming out of it.
This year, as the buzz started building, I tried to ignore it. But a little nagging voice at the back of my mind kept telling me I should give it a try. When an author pal put up a message asking who else was going for it this year, I scanned the comments. Someone had stated she needed to do it, to motivate her to crack on with her novel and stop her habit of editing before she finished her first draft. Ping! There it was; I realised I needed it too. NaNoWriMo was going to be the kick up the bum I'd been looking for.
So I started on Tuesday, and I can't help feeling like I've embarked on a diet. On day one I was mega-motivated, writing over 3000 words, and feeling like I was unstoppable. On day two, my muse gave me the silent treatment, but then yesterday it perked up again. Today, day four, I have written over 6,500 words in total. I can't deny it's tough trying to fit the high word count round my other stuff. But, in the spirit of a diet, I'm refusing to give in, (did you know I used to work for Weight Watchers?). I've joined a support group, and it's great; we share our successes and failures and spur each other on. When you read about other people struggling on through migraines and fitting NaNo in around an eleven hour working day, you know you've got it fairly easy.
So, although I'm not chomping at the bit like I was on Tuesday, my goal is still firmly in my sights, and you never know, I might just be one of the NaNo 2011 winners . And if I'm not? It really doesn't matter; I'll have made great headway on the first draft of my next book, and in the big picture, that's what's important.
Good luck to anyone else who is taking part in the madness this year. And if we haven't buddied up yet, my username on NaNo is Amanda Leigh Cowley.
Oh, and as it's Friday...