‘Thirty days and nights of literary abandon’

November, for me, will be taken up by large amounts of tea and black coffee, not much sleep, staring at a blank word document, followed by intense sessions of furious typing, a lot of foot tapping, walking, and furious note scribbling. All in my attempt to write 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th.

I will be taking part in NaNoWriMo, you see. November is National Novel Writing Month.

I have been trying desperately to prepare for it because this is my second attempt at the challenge. My first attempt ended up in 26,000 words (not bad really) of poorly written science fiction. I went into it blind, and suffered.

I am not a writer, and doubt that I will ever declare that I am one. I find it incredibly difficult to express myself in word-form, and I lack passion. I think, that’s what I do. Putting it on to paper is a whole other level. It feels permanent and exposed and I feel, well, vulnerable. The difficulty is part of why I try, though.

I have a ridiculous amount of admiration for people like my sister, who if she’s anything, she’s a writer. She enjoys it. She can’t not write. From an early age we had her poetry and writings up on our fridge, on the walls (sometimes literally written on the walls…) – deep and well thought out philosophies, clearly expressed.

I don’t know how to prepare for a month of writing every spare moment. It’s like knowing you are going to a buffet meal tomorrow. Do you starve yourself so you have an appetite? Or do you build yourself up to it like a marathon runner, eating a little more and a little more until you are sure your stomach will cope with all that damn well already paid for food? Like a long car journey – you are going to be sat down for a while, so to prepare for it do you… stand up? Will I get fed up of all the writing? Should I… read books and write in preparation.. or not?

I’ve decided to try and create some sort of premise for my novel… an outline of some sort because, well, because of the disaster of last time, and because yes, it does make a lot of sense to do so – I don’t really know how I thought I would create something meaningful last time without an actual plot. I’ve also started re-reading one of my favourite books, by Banana Yoshimoto – Kitchen. I am still unsure if reading a book that I love so much is a good idea however. Will what I write ever compare to it?! Is it going to make my writing feel totally inadequate from the start? Or will it give me inspiration?

Ultimately, I don’t have a clue how things will go until I start writing. I know it will go up and down, but I don’t know when, why and for how long.

It is terribly exciting.

I wish a lot of good luck to all you other ‘nanos’ out there! I’m very intrigued into your preparation process…