It’s NaNoWriMo time!

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It’s that time of the year! It’s NaNoWriMo time! For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Anyone can sign up for this challenge to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I’ve completed seven projects since 2012 and I’ve signed up again this year.

I’ve always been a writer, and I’ve self-published four books, but I’m a big-time procrastinator. I need deadlines. I need this challenge. Since I published my latest novel last October, I’ve been stuck. Frozen. I’ve written blog posts, emails and journal entries. But I’ve had little to no interest in editing the two fiction manuscripts waiting for me, and I haven’t been able to begin a new project. And I’ve been wondering why.

I’ve come up with this: I’ve been ignoring a project that’s been haunting me for years. A memoir. I’ve dabbled with the idea through journal and blog entries. I’ve written poetry, and my last NaNo project two years ago centered around nonfiction essays. I’ve been wanting to write a memoir for years but pushed the desire aside because I didn’t know how, and I was scared. My memoir will center around painful times in my past and memories that I originally wanted to keep buried. So I started writing and publishing fiction, but realized that my fiction is based on real events, real people and feelings. I can no longer avoid what I’ve always wanted to write.

When I wrote fiction for past NaNo projects, I prepared with character and plot ideas, even though I always allowed my characters to tell me the story when I began. And it was a story I never planned for or expected. I love that about fiction writing. But memoir is different. I already know the players and what happens. There are no surprises. Or are there? Will I discover something new about my past and who I became? Am I afraid of discovering something that I’d rather keep safely hidden? I don’t know because I’ve never ventured into this arena. I’m anxious. I’m impatient. Excited. And I hope that I can continue through the month to finish the first 50,000 words of a memoir that’s been decades in the making.

My fiction will always be with me, but this year, I want to end November with a completed NaNo project, my first attempt at memoir.

Are you going to participate this year? Have you ever? I’d love to hear from you. And whether you join NaNo or not, I wish you the best on your writing journey.

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