This is my 7th year doing NaNoWriMo. It’s a wonderful community driven writing challenge (that I’m sure most of you already know about). 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s crazy and frustrating and a whole lot of fun. I discovered it in 2005 and never looked back. Every October I start to get all antsy, the anticipation building and causing me to panic slightly as the last weeks of the month roll around and I realize I still have no idea what I’m going to write about, lol. Then Halloween is like a finger in the damn–the pressure is so intense I almost can’t get through the day. And then it’s over and the kids are trying to go to sleep all hopped up on sugar and I’m bone-tired and just want to crash but midnight hits and it’s November 1st and I HAVE TO WRITE!
It’s on. I go nuts every year but I love it so much. And my family understands I will be absolutely crazy in November. To ignore my random expletives when a character won’t do what I want or my ramblings about plot (or a lack there of) that go on and on and on all day long. They know they have to fend for themselves because I’ll be locked in my room with a cache of pens and a notebook. But in the end (hopefully) I’m printing off the very shiny Winner’s Certificate with tears in my eyes and the most awesome sense of accomplishment I’ve ever felt.
This year my kids are joining in the craziness. Meagan (6th grade) is planning to write at least 2000 words. And it’s fanfiction (following in her mother’s footsteps) based on James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series of books (she’s almost done with the 2nd one and I’ve never seen her so interested in reading before). Owen (4th grade) set his goal to 800 words and thinks his story will be about a grand space battle. Or, most likely, a bunch of space-Army men blowing each other up. I’m sure it will be epic. Brenna (3rd grade) set a modest goal of 500 words. Her idea is my favorite of all: a retelling of our grand adventure move across the country from the eyes of a puppy (imaginary since we don’t have a dog). I can’t wait to see what she’s come up with. And little Nora couldn’t just sit around and watch us all have the fun so she’s going to write a 100 word story about a trip to a pumpkin patch. That should be interesting since she can’t actually read or write yet so I’ll have to sit and spell every word for her.
Also, this year we’ve created a site to help collect donations for the guys running NaNo: The Office of Letters and Light. They do so much hard work all year round to make sure November run smoothly for everyone involved. They also have Script Frenzy in April, Camp NaNoWriMo in the summer and the entire Young Writer’s Program (that the kids are using this year). Everything is run on donations collected by participants and their friends and family. I’ve already donated $25. Any little bit helps.
If you’d like to give a few bucks head over to our fundraising page. They accept all major credit cards and paypal for your convenience. It’d be really great if you could spare even a dollar or two for these guys. The work they do spreading the love of writing is just amazing. So many kids all over the country and world participate in the Young Writer’s Program either individually (like my kids) or through their school. And I don’t know where I’d be without NaNo in my life.