Friday Speak Out!: My NaNoWriMo Boyfriend, Guest Post by Melissa Gibson

Friday, November 12, 2010
My NaNoWriMo Boyfriend

by Melissa Gibson

National Novel Writing Month hit me like a hot romance.

The first couple days, I spent every opportunity in front on my computer, typing what was sure to be The Next Great Novel. Characters and story lines blossomed. I wrote thousands upon thousands of words. They came to me easily – even with the kids hollering in the background and the laundry piling up.

“This is so easy,” I said. “I’ll have 50,000 by next week. What’s so hard about this?”

On Day 3, I even got competitive. One of my writing buddies was close to my word count.

“Oh, I can’t have that!” I exclaimed and quickly typed up another thousand. I sat back in my chair with a satisfied smile across my face. I slept like a baby.

On Day 4, though, the story was stuck. My brain was exhausted of ideas, my fingers idled over the keyboard. I only pounded out 500 words – and each one was a chore. As Day 4 closed, one writing buddy demolished my word count, two others were hot on my trail. Even the stragglers weren’t looking so shabby. It was like NaNoWriMo was cheating on me.

Now, as the first week of NaNoWriMo wraps up, my inner editor is shaking her head and laughing. What am I thinking? I can’t do this! It’s too time-consuming. It’s too hard. The story doesn’t make sense anyway. It’s going to need so much work. I need a time line. I need to research pharmaceutical sales. I’m just not prepared enough. I should just give up. It’s not good enough.

But some little part of my original NaNoWriMo self is saying, I have five writing buddies who are in this with me. I love watching their word counts grow, regardless of how haphazard and nonsensical their story may or may not be. I want them to get their 50,000, and they want me to get mine. I can do this. It is time-consuming, and it’s not always easy. NaNoWriMo isn’t about ironing out the details, it’s about getting words on a page. That’s good enough. Also, Mrs. Ridiculous, NaNoWriMo is NOT cheating on me!

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Melissa Gibson is a writer based in Shreveport, Louisiana. Originally from Northwest Indiana, Melissa is now a military wife busy with two little boys. When she catches a break from the craziness, Melissa loves to write, craft, read, and try her hand at green-themed projects like raising chickens and making laundry detergent. Presently, Melissa works as a tutor and is active in a local journaling group.


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



Carmen said...

I'm right there with you in all those emotions and thoughts. So encouraging to know I'm not the only one who is at the point where the inner critic is telling me how senseless my novel is. I keep conjuring up the words of Ernest Hemingway---"The first draft of anything is crap." NaNo buddies offer support---we're all in it together.

Carry on and see yourself celebrating as that purple bar announces "Winner!"

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