Friday, October 7, 2011

A novel experience

    Back in August, I heard about a website, and a contest, and a chance to try to fulfill a dream of mine.  I ran across a brief reference to “NaNoWriMo” on a blog I found and I decided to try to figure out what the heck it was.  As it turns out, NaNoWriMo is not a strange old Native American word.  It is a sort of abbreviation for “National Novel Writing Month.”  It is also a website, and a contest.  The idea behind it is to encourage members to write a novel, a whole novel, start to finish, in a month.  After visiting the website, I thought about it for a while. 

    I’ve always loved writing.  I’ve always wanted to write a novel.  I have always had stories weaving their way through my thoughts whether I’ve invited them or not.  Stories are such a part of my thoughts and my life and I’ve always wanted to get them down on paper and share them but I have never been confident enough, or had the time enough, to actually do it.  So, crazy as it sounds, I signed up. 

    November is national novel writing month.  So, on November 1st (and not a minute before) the contest officially begins.  The challenge?  To write a 50,000 word novel before November 30.  The website provides support, encouragement, and the official word count.  The participants must provide their own stories and their own time. 

    I am a home schooling mother of 5.  My husband works about 60-70 hours a week outside the house, and is pursuing his master’s degree in an online program that requires some 10-15 hours of work each week from home.  I am responsible for shopping, cleaning, cooking, educating, caring for, and chauffeuring to gym class, art class, cub scouts, etc….   I have trouble keeping up with the laundry and dishes.   Where I will fit in time to write 1667 words of original, interesting, coherent narration each day for a month, I do not know.  I am so excited to try to find out!

    I shared my goal and excitement with my children and they too were intrigued.  So, on November 1st the biggest challenge may not be whether or not my story is any good, or whether or not I can even find time to sit down and write.  It may be, whether or not I can get near my computer to do my writing.  You see, NaNoWriMo has a young writers program, too.  My two oldest children have signed up.  My middle daughter will join us in writing a story also, though not officially through the website. 

    The four of us have spent the last few weeks working on our story ideas, developing plot lines, and naming characters.  Everyday lately one of the kids will ask, “How many days till we start?”  Then we go check the countdown at the website and feel nervous and excited and anxious all at once. 

    I am not sure I will make it to 50,000 words.  I am not at all sure it is even possible, there just might not be enough hours in the day, or days in the month.  But, if nothing else, the attempt to complete a whole story in a month, with my children, will be such a novel experience, it is sure to be worth a try….


  1. Wow, what a great experience for you kids--and you! It sounds very exciting!! It's a good time, you'll be done in time for Advent!

    (when you described your life, I felt you were describing me...I have a hard time keeping up with especially laundry!)

    Best wishes!!!

  2. Hi Kari,

    We are registering for NaNoWriMo too!! My daughters Imogen and Charlotte are already signed up and thinking about novel ideas. I know it is going to be a wonderful month typing away, sharing our ideas, encouraging each other... We all love writing but it will be even more fun writing on NaNoWriMo novels at the same time.

    We will have to share experiences at the end of November. I hope you are being inspired with some great ideas.

    God bless!

  3. We will have to be "writing buddies"! :) My "NaNo" name is relying-on-mercy



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