My 20,000 NaNoWriMo Goal

Okay, I did something that might be a little bit daunting. I signed up for this year’s NaNoWriMo event in November! It’s official. Also, it is exciting and kind of crazy. But what’s the point of dreams if you never go for’em?

Hello, I’m Wanna B. Author

Escaping into imaginary worlds, connecting with interesting characters caught up in conflict – this is a story. And who doesn’t love a good one? I like reading fiction, but I’ve wanted to write my own for a long time. In fact, I’ve already tried.

A few years ago, my first attempts at writing a story were unfinished and not good. Fail and fail. But at least I really tried. I had a good sci-fi story idea with some semblance of a plot. But my characters were not developed well. The writing was likely poor. Yet I wrote!

Back then, I didn’t know what I was doing. I think I kind of winged it. Pantser maybe. But though there was no writing success to speak of, the little ember of desire to write didn’t go cold. In fact, a second story I began, a fantasy, is still one I’m fond of. I created a map of a world and started my characters on their journey. The plot was somewhat mapped out too. But I guess time and life cut that trip short.

Enter NaNoWriMo. I’d heard about this last year and was intrigued. I blogged about it with admiration of the many brave souls who pushed themselves to churn out 50,000 words in a month. With such an official writing initiative supported by a community of enthusiastic fiction fabricators, I felt compelled to try my hand at being a nascent novelist. But I decided to shelve it in the Book of Dreams.

Things have changed over time. I’ve recently reignited my fiction fondness by reading a bunch of good stories. And that makes me wanna get in on the fun, writing my own make-believe adventure. Where will the characters go? What will happen next? My imagination gets revved up and I try to tap into the creative side of my 3-pound brain.

What could hold me back from chasing a pipe-dream to author a novel? Reality might do it. Fear is also a suspect. I’m – hold on, here it comes – busy. When am I going to have time to write 50,000 words? Life is not going to say, “Hey, go ahead and take November off. The world will wait. Go write your magnum opus.” Maybe I can write a book, but should I?

Well, what the heck? I’m gonna go for it. You gotta start somewhere, right? Let me give it a good shot, and even though it’s likely I won’t finish writing all-the-words, I can at least have a good start on a first draft. The best part is, I’m sure I will learn a lot from the process.

I give credit to the fun, encouraging, brave, and inspiring writing community for my choice to jump in the deep end, sink or swim. There are many aspiring and succeeding authors on Twitter and on blogs that welcome newbies to join the fold. They offer advice, tips, and encouragement. And many of them struggle to write, like real-life normal people wrestle with anything. But they jump life’s hurdles and write.

To make it more feasible, and fun, for me to clear the bar, I simply lowered it. For my first ever NaNoWriMo, my goal is 20,000 words, which would get me a novella instead of a novel. And that would be amazing if I pull it off!

The breakdown of those 20k words is also do-able. I’m focusing my writing time on weekdays, and there are about 20 of those in November. That makes the daily goal just 1,000 words. And I’ll use the weekends for cushion and to catch up when I need to. So I’ve got a goal and a plan.

I’ve also got a story idea, a partial plot, and my protagonist and antagonist started. The table of conflict is set. The main dish served is a Paleontologist who wants to find the origin of humankind, a species who had a special connection with the earth. But what the hero really wants is to find his own origin – his parents – and thereby know who he really is.

It’s kind of simple, but I’ve been trying to make the plot intricate and interesting. Anyways, I get excited when I think about it. My interest is piqued! That’s how I know I’ve got an idea worth chasing, taking risks, and making the NaNoWriMo commitment. And it should be fun! I’ve written down a lot of details already and look forward to typing the story.

Go For The Goal

So that’s it. My 20,000 word NaNoWriMo goal. November will be interesting. And busy!

If you dream about writing a book but haven’t yet made any attempts, maybe just go for it! Consider the time and effort it would take, and try to make things work. Think about story ideas that make your imagination buzz. Once that creativity gets started, your desire to write will grow!

That’s been my experience at least. I just hope when November hits and I sit to write, the words will start to flow. Until then, I’ve got more plotting to do.

Do you aspire to write fiction?