Planner or Pantser

Coffee? Check.
Chocolate? Dark with pumpkin seeds full of zinc, vitamin E, and magnesium to stimulate my happy brain chemicals and help me relax. Check.
Cheerleader? Multiple. Check.
A Twitter handle and a working knowledge of hashtags? Check.
Ability to silence your inner editor? Umm… Well… define silence.
A healthy dose of denial? Oh, I’d say there is a pharmacy full of denial right here, and it’s going to come in handy.
A little self-respect and love? Check.

I always thought I was more of a planner. I “believe in rigorous preparation”. I enjoy creating outlines for projects weeks in advance. As for lists? I am thoroughly pleased with myself when I survey a completed checklist. However, when it comes to NaNoWriMo, it would appear that I am a very obvious pantser who revels “in hardcore spontaneity” and on November 1 (as is the case), will “have a blank document and [my] imagination.

So what is NaNoWriMo, why am I doing it, what does it entail, and why do I have cause to panic despite my almost complete emergency checklist above?

I discovered NaNoWriMo at the end of November 2013, when the challenge was nearing its end. In their own words, “National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1 [today], participants [me] begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30 [yikes!]….” And there in lies my cause for concern. 50,000 words is a lot… Like seriously a lot. Like 1,667 words per day. I’m not even sure I have that many words over the course of this blog. I suppose I’m doing better this year as I was reminded of the challenge a few days before it’s start. But despite this information, I am grossly unprepared! Like it’s 11 p.m. and all I’ve got is my imagination, unprepared.

Yet, thanks to my healthy dose of denial, I will forge ahead with step one of NaNo prep – make a public commitment. Since “NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel”, and since I have not only lingered on the thought of writing a novel, but actually started two and have about two more ruminating in my skull on any given day, it would be foolish not to take the challenge.

Therefore, friends, this is my public announcement that during the month of November, I will be writing 50,000 words with the goal of completing my first novel. Let the fun begin!


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