I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo this year.
NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. For the month of November, you write 50,000 words, regardless if it’s a complete book. I’ve done it a few times before, but haven’t been satisfied with any of my efforts. In fact, I wondered if that speedy kind of writing actually made my writing worse.
As some of you may know, I’m self-publishing my memoir, hopefully by March 2011. I made a copy of Lulu and planned on revising it in that format. Although I’ve revised it a billion times, I still think it can be better, especially in light of some helpful feedback I got from an agent. Basically, in some places I don’t linger enough and sum up too quickly. I tell too much and don’t show enough.
So I started to think, Why not just rewrite the memoir like a novel, and use NaNoWriMo to do it? That way I’m forced to finish it by the end of November, I’ll take December to look at it once more (hopefully mostly for copyediting), maybe have one or two people look at it, enter those edits in January, and use February to put on the finishing touches.
The timing of NaNoWriMo actually works out perfectly for my memoir.
I started it on the train this morning. I won’t make any judgments so far, but I think this past year has been very good practice for my writing. I’ve practiced writing nonfiction as though it’s fiction, as well as working through different aspects of my marriage and divorce. Thinking about those different aspects through my short pieces has given me a wider perspective. I think I’ll be able to take step back and put my memoir into even better context, while at the same time providing more of a feel of a novel.
Or so I hope.