It’s Never Too Late

This year I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo. For those that aren’t familiar with the term, it means National Novel Writing Month. What that means is this. Each participant must try and write a 50,000-word novel by midnight on November 30, 2008. That equals out to about a175-page novel by the end of the month. Yes, that’s a lot of writing to do. It’s quite the daunting task.

This is not my first crack at writing a novel. However, it’s my first crack at NaNo. I’ve written novels in the past, but it’s been quite some time.

Writing has always been an important part of my life, but I set it aside for awhile when I found myself pregnant with my son. I was horribly sick and had little energy. We also moved into a new house during my pregnancy. Because of all the changes, my love for writing just kept being pushed further and further under the rug, where it collected dust. I sometimes wondered if I’d ever get back into it again.

Now I’m not saying I didn’t write anything. I did. In fact, I wrote several small article pieces for a friend’s website. I also wrote several editorial-style pieces on David Cook while he was on American Idol. I also worked for, which involved a great deal of writing. But none of these things had to do with writing a novel. They were more like exercises for me to flex my writing muscle.

A month ago, I started noticing my coworkers from Mahalo talking about NaNo. I was instantly intrigued. I checked out the website and told myself, “you know what, I can do this.” I knew it had been awhile since I had tried to, but that didn’t matter. It’s like having a new baby five years after your first one. You think you’ve forgotten how to take care of a newborn, but you find as soon as you hold it in your arms for the first time, it all comes rushing back in a flood.

Since starting my current work-in-progress, it has seen so many changes that it’s a wonder my head hasn’t exploded. I originally started out with the idea that my story would take place in Scotland during the time of William Wallace. Well, it wasn’t long before I started changing things up. Now, I find my characters aren’t in Scotland during that time at all. In fact, they are in a completely fictional reality that I’ve created to suit their needs and lives.

I also started the book out in a third person point of view, but just last night I realized that the story would be more affective if I changed it to a first person POV. Am I crazy? Maybe so, but it felt like the correct decision to make.

What do both of these changes mean? Essentially, December is going to involve a great deal of rewriting and filling in of gaps. Am I up to the challenge? Let’s put it this way, in the words of Sarah Palin, “You betcha.”

I can say this, out of everything I’ve ever written, this story has filled me with such an immense amount of pride. Maybe it’s because it’s such a monumental task to reach the 50,000-word goal when you have other things going on in your life. Maybe it’s because I was on hiatus for so long. Or maybe it’s because I’ve connected with the characters in my story so much that they truly have taken on a life of their own. Or finally, maybe it’s because this story feels like THE ONE. You know, the one that finally ends up published.

Whatever the case may be, I’m so happy that I took the time to participate in NaNoWriMo. Whether or not I hit the 50,000 word mark by November 30, it won’t matter because I already feel like such a success for getting this far.

Before closing, I have to give a special thanks to two people.

Jackie – You have been such an amazing friend to me over the past few years. You have been a great support and the ultimate cheerleader. You’ve pushed me along and helped me to become a much more confident person. I can’t imagine a better best friend than you. Yes, we are separated by many miles, but you’re always in my heart, offering me the guidance that I need. Thank you for that.

Jenny – I know we’ve worked together at Mahalo for quite some time, but it wasn’t until very recently that we started talking. I’m a firm believer that people come into your lives at a specific time for specific reasons. I know you came into mine exactly when you were supposed to. In you, I’ve found a kindred spirit. One who doesn’t think I’m a complete head case when I’m being indecisive about my writing. In the short time I’ve known you, you’ve already taught me so much and I thank you for that. It means so much to me.

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