Let me first state the obvious: a man–with apparently no interest even in football–must have been the one to decide that November would be the perfect month for hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers to write an entire novel (50,000 words, at least).
Because how on earth am I to write a novel AND cook a turkey with all the trimmings AND host out-of-town family members in a clean, nicely-decorated home, AND do my Christmas shopping, wrapping, and letter writing? And by the way: I love football! What could be a better end to Thanksgiving Day than to curl up on the couch next to my honey with an entirely unnecessary extra piece of pie, watching college boys toss around the pigskin. Ah, I feel bloated and happy just thinking about it.
So I did most of the holiday preparation stuff early. I have my Thanksgiving menu planned out, but not my shopping list. I have decorative pumpkins on the table, at least. Flowers can come later. And I have all my Christmas presents squirreled away–but not wrapped. The football? Can’t do any of that in advance, unfortunately.
And I have decided to give myself the first twenty days of November, rather than all thirty, to complete the 50,000 word goal. So far, I am on target, having written more than 2,500 words per day for the past three days.
And you know what? It’s been fun. As anyone who loves to write will tell you, writing feels like catching your breath after a long run. Like the first few days after falling in love. Like seeing someone you adore, when you haven’t seen them in ages and didn’t expect to any time soon. Like laughing so hard and long and freely that after awhile, you are only laughing at the laughing itself.
My fear: that what I write this month will be horrible, and will betray the integrity of these characters who have lived inside my head for more than a year now, and with whom I have fallen deeply, helplessly, and inexplicably in love. (Yes, I know they are imaginary. That’s the inexplicably part.) That what I write will be meandering and goopy and far beyond repair, which would mean the death of the idea and the story and those wonderful, aforementioned characters.
But the fact is that I had been thinking and talking about this novel for, like I said, over a year now. And I needed something to force it out of me.
And so, I write. For at least the first twenty days of November, I write.
Sleep? There’ll be time for that in December.
UPDATE: 50,419 words, completed on November 21st, logged on November 25th! I’ll blog more about it later, but that time I thought I’d have in December has been unceremoniously swallowed up by my new position as Editor of the Pikes Peak Writers’ NewsMag. First issue? January! November might have been Novel Insanity Month, but December is NewsMag Insanity Month. Have to finish in time to write the Christmas letter…