November is National Novel Writing Month – aka NaNoWriMo. Simply put, it’s a fun, free-for-all, stress-filled gambit wherein writers of all levels of experience make solemn vows under the full moon (not really… well, maybe some do) that they will attempt to write a novel that is a minimum of fifty thousand words in length. Sacrifices to the chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol gods may also be involved. Maybe even marijuana if you’re in a state where it’s legal.

As it turns out, I want to do NaNo this year. I don’t ordinarily try it, though I did once a few years ago, but it didn’t work out. I lost interest and moved on.

Given November’s proximity to my surgery, I wasn’t sure NaNo was going to be something I’d be up to doing. And since there are only eighteen days left in November and I’ve not yet started writing… well. It isn’t looking very promising.

But wait! All hope is not lost. Eighteen days is a sufficient amount of time. I know this for a fact because I wrote Firefly Hollow, which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 120,000 words when complete, over a span of twenty-one days. Now, I did end up on the couch for the next week drooling as my brain steamed from being overclocked, but it was worth it. So less than half that amount of words in nearly that full amount of time? Oh, yeah. If I can put my mind to it, I can do it.

Now, if I do participate in NaNo, what in the world am I going to write? Honestly, no idea. I’ve been working on some things, juggling through my options, but my ability to focus on the fine details has been rather mushy over the last several weeks. With that in mind, whatever does come out of my mushy brain for NaNo might not make a lick of sense… and for perhaps the first time in my writing life, I’m all right with that. It might even be fun—cringeworthy, but fun.

I could finish up one of the Firefly Hollow books that’s in the works. That’d be both productive and fun. But honestly, I’m not sure I’m up to doing a good job on that just yet. That’s another reason this NaNo challenge feels like a good idea – I feel like I need “writing rehab” to get back on my toes. A writerly version of physical therapy, if you will.

Since I get significantly better word counts when I dictate, I’ll probably take that route instead of typing. My poor little Windows laptop is feeling sorely neglected, as it has been weeks and weeks since I’ve booted it up. Dictation definitely feels like a good idea, if for no other reason than to give that computer some love and keep in practice. I normally work on a Mac, am in fact typing on the Mac now, but the Dragon dictation software for Mac is… let’s say less than great and leave it at that. So the only purpose that Windows laptop has in this world is to handle dictation. Don’t you agree that it should have some love thrown its way? I’ll make it so.

By November 30th, I should have something to show for my efforts. A heaping, hot mess of words? Probably. But words…which is better than no words, by far. And hopefully well-flexed writerly muscles ready to take off and fly.

Happy Reading!

T. L.