Yesterday was November first. Yesterday NaNoWriMo began for the 3rd or 5th time since I first learned of it.
That’s National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who’ve been in the dark all this time. All around the US (and the world?) average, everyday people turn off their TV’s or sleep less, or whatever it is they have to do to carve out enough time from their usual day to write 1,667 words. Thus producing by month end, a novel of 50,000 words. From it’s humble beginning of 21 participants, NaNoWriMo has grown to over 200,000 participants.
This year was the first year that I remembered on November 1 that I wanted to write. In fact, because a friend had committed to participate, I’d been thinking about it for a couple weeks. But I had no plot idea. Now I know, the guys over at NaNoWriMo have the philosophy of “No Plot, No Problem.” They favor quantity over quality, the point being something like, the weather is miserable in November so why not take advantage of it and write that novel you’ve always (or never) wanted to write. However, I was unwilling to spend even 30 hours of my precious time writing garbage with no direction.
Finally I decided to write everyday instead, on the non-fiction book that I’ve intended to write for the last 6 years. I figured, it may not be fiction, but at least I have some confidence that it would sell. If it didn’t sell, I could have confidence that at least it wouldn’t be garbage. One of the tidbits I’ve gleaned from the Universe (I think it came from someone talking about that book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”) was that people who are wealthy have multiple streams of income, not just one or two. I figure, a useful nonfiction book and accompanying web site would be an awesome stream of income for my family and one I could possibly produce and still be Stay Home Mom of the Year.
I did not get any words written yesterday and I have not officially registered at the NaNoWriMo website, but I was still thinking I could maybe do this, even though I technically would not be writing a novel.
Then this morning at 3:00 am when the 4-year-old and the 11-month-old both woke up and required my attention, I REMEMBERED, I DO HAVE A PLOT. Now I can spent 30+ hours of my precious time writing garbage WITH direction! Back when the 9-year-old was a baby and I was up nights, I put quite a bit of thought into the basic outline of a fairytale type fantasy novel. I didn’t do any writing on it, which is perfect, because that would break the rules, which are that you must not begin writing before Nov. 1. You cannot use NaNoWriMo to finish a novel you have already begun. You have to use some other unfortunate month (January?) to finish already begun works.
So now I’m conflicted a bit. Actually write the novel? Write the nonfiction book? That Twilight Franchise brought in 4.7 billion dollars. Stephanie Meyer only has about 125 million of those dollars.
The teenage, idealistic version of me would have been shocked that I’m putting any kind of monetary consideration into this. I should be writing for the joy of it; writing for the uplifting and the benefiting of the human condition.
You are thinking, “Sheesh! at least learn the proper use of a semi-colon. That would benefit the human condition.”
The mother of 6, practical version of me feels that if I’m going to dedicate time to this, thereby possibly asking my family to sacrifice, that I should have some tangible benefit to promise them.
I’ve already got 239 words of “The Mouse Bride” written and it’s only 5:17 a.m. November 2. I’m only 1,428 words behind. This is promising.