NaMoWriMo and a Nonfiction Author

I sat on the edge of my bed at 5 am checking my emails because that’s what retired people do, right? I noticed some information from my local library about events for National Novel Writing Month in November (NaNoWriMo). I quickly moved on. Not applicable.

An hour later, after I completed my exercise routine, washed the baby bottles and baby toys the dog had mouthed, and had my first cup of tea, I jumped into the shower, vowing I would be quick about it. No hair washing as I have a hair appointment at noon and she will wash it then. The people with whom I volunteer as a conversational English tutor will just have to look past the flat spots in my less than perfectly coifed hair.

Let me randomly add here that I usually wash the bottles and clean up on Tuesdays after my granddaughter leaves from her ten hours with me. For some reason I was more exhausted than normal after chasing my 11-month-old angel.

 I have ignored whatever has crossed my visual path about NaNoWriMo this month as I am a busy, NON fiction author in the midst of the trials and pains of marketing a recently published book. I have also never, I repeat, NEVER aspired to writing a novel.

Years ago, I began writing a picture book about a chipmunk, of all critters. I also began an early readers’ chapter book as well as a memoir picture book for children. I had considered writing nonfiction children’s biographies. No adult novels in the works at all.

I like to believe I do my “best thinking” in the shower. There’s something about the warm water washing away the nighttime stiffness that frees my mind. My thinking in the shower is actually random and all over the place. It might be considered brainstorming. If you are into bullet journaling you might call it a brain dump.

The problem with my wonderful shower thoughts is that once I am dressed and excited about writing down whatever I thought about, the finer parts of the thoughts seem to have gone through the exhaust fan with the steam. I can’t remember that wonderful first sentence or the details of the brilliant idea that made it most brilliant.

This particular morning, my shower thoughts happened to focus on NaNoWriMo although I think it might have whirled around my head more like “Namo Rhino” or “Rambo Nemo.” I really had some great thoughts! While the finer points have wafted off like steam into space, two questions were circling around in my head and still are.

One. Should I, who never considered writing a novel, try writing a novel in a month? At least there wouldn’t be years wasted. Just thirty days. What on earth would it be about? Well, since I have been immersed for three years in autism maybe it could be a fiction book about a family who has a child with autism? It took almost three years to write the book I have written. And that was mostly other people’s words! How could I even write anything in one month? So funny, right?

Second. Could I just use the month as a motivation to actually write anything? Should I post something to one of my blogs every day, something just for the sake of sharing my thoughts? I would take a break from checking book sales and web stats for thirty days. I would not think about appropriate use of titles, first sentences and headings to maximize SEO. I would not think about the ideal blog length. These thoughts all stifle any creativity I might or might not have.

And, by the way, I wrote this in twenty minutes. Twenty minutes a day for thirty days. Hmm.

Moment of Truth: (Added to the original twenty-minute piece write before posting.) I allowed myself twenty minutes to write so I would have enough time to get to my volunteer job. I finished in twenty minutes. Perfect right?

Well by the time I grabbed my purse, decided on a coat, etc. I was too late to go anyway. I had to bail. I love my volunteer job (sad face). I’m glad I didn’t wash my hair! That would have been a waste.

Any thoughts out there? What should I do with NaNoWriMo? What are you doing?

I have only one more day to decide.

3 responses to “NaMoWriMo and a Nonfiction Author

  1. I believe in “the order of things” meaning I’m not allowed to write a novel until I Write a sufficient number of short stories (that number exceeds the five I have written). I thought about the blog every day thing but I don’t think it’s fair to readers. In the end, I think it would drive people away.

  2. I always heard that the more you write the better you get at it. Only you can decide what form that takes, though.

  3. I’m like you – I can only write non-fiction. At least I never tried to write fiction. I have a good way to relay a story, not invent one. That being said I agree with Kathy. I think one gets better at it. And it is only 20 minutes a day. Some bloggers would drive me away posting every day. But not others. I would read Jeff’s blog every day if he posted. And I would read yours. Tough choice!

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