Today is November 30th, which means that writers and knitters around the world are making a last frantic push to reach their 50,000 goal.
Eight years ago I successfully participated in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Every November, would-be novelists sign up on the site and pledge to write 50,000 words during the month. That’s an average of just under 1,667 words per day. It seems a relatively reasonable goal … until you miss a day and realize you have to write 3,333 in one day to catch up. For anyone trying to hit that magical 50,000-word mark while working a full-time job, shopping for holiday gifts and taking part in any kind of Thanksgiving ritual, that daily goal can be rough. Twice since 2010 I’ve tried and failed to get to 50,000 words in November.
But, taking part in NaNoWriMo is something I think about doing every year. It was exhilarating. Back in 2010, I’d had a story looping through my head for months. I thought constantly about how it would develop, what my characters would do next and how I’d resolve the conflicts they encountered. I can’t remember how I first heard about NaNoWriMo, but I was so glad to have learned about it right when it seemed most appropriate for me to make a lifelong dream of writing a novel a reality. In May 2013, I self-published my novel on Amazon as an e-book. It’s a love story, in case anyone is curious.
Just before Thanksgiving, while browsing patterns on Ravelry, I came across the acronym NaKniSweMo. It appears to have started in 2007 as a companion to the writing challenge, but what NaKniSweMo requires is 50,000 stitches (in the form of a sweater) in the month of November. My idiot brain immediately leapt to, “Wow, I wonder if I could do BOTH in 2019!”
I will not be doing both in 2019. November is already a busy month, so even taking on one of these challenges is … well … challenging. But I am itching to write another novel. I have a deep and sometimes obsessive love of knitting, but writing is my greatest passion. When I was writing my novel, I became so fixated that I would lose track of time, forget to eat, couldn’t focus on mundane things like my job, the dirty dishes or anything else that stood in the way of me pushing the plot forward and fleshing out my characters. I really want to experience that again. At the moment I don’t have the makings of a great story constantly tugging at my ear as I did in 2010, but I have no doubt that if I were to sit down and start writing about some of the little ideas that have come and gone over the years, I could produce more works of fiction that would give me a similar sense of accomplishment.