6 days until NaNoWriMo 2010

So…as usual…I have failed on an epic scale with posting my thoughts this October. I fully intended to. I wanted to show, step-by-step, my pre-NaNo planning. I wanted to ramble about how the finishing-the-first-draft-of-the-current-project was going. I wanted to do all of this.

Ah, well. The best laid plans and all that.

We are now under a week until November 1 and the start of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo never ceases to bring me great excitement. This will be my seventh year, and I’m just as excited about doing it as I’ve been in previous years. One of my friends from dance class pointed out last night that I write a novel every month, so what’s the deal?

Now, granted, she said this in jest. But it got me thinking.

First of all…I don’t write a novel every month. I write every month, yes. I’m working on novels in an almost perpetual way. But I do not normally write one novel in one month. Typically, one first draft will take me a couple months (sometimes more, depending on life). So there’s something exciting about challenging myself even further to sit my butt down in the chair and get that 1667-word quota for every day. There’s something exciting about making the internal editor shut up for once and just write (my internal editor is a real pain most of the time).

But here’s the other reason why NaNo still brings me great excitement: the community. Half of the fun is the community of Wrimos (the term for NaNo participants) from around the world. The NaNo message boards remain the one place on the internet where people post in complete, grammatically correct sentences. This community thrives off of jokes that make the rest of the world raise their eyebrows–plot bunnies, Traveling Shovel of Death, writing dares, and everything in between. As soon as October starts, this community jumps into action with amazing energy. Once November hits, this community becomes a place of comfort and procrastination and cheerleaders.

This is a community that encourages NaNo veterans to mentor Newbies. I have three Newbies this year who adopted me as their mentor. I am honored by this. I’m honored that these three Newbies chose me to help them through their first National Novel Writing Month.

This is a community that, when people meet in the real world, it’s like we’ve known each other forever. I went to the Columbus Region’s kick-off party last weekend. We all started throwing around inside jokes almost immediately. Everyone was welcoming. The energy was contagious.

This is what NaNoWriMo is to me. It’s mostly about the writing, but that’s not everything. I could do the 50k-in-30-days thing any time I want, but I choose to do it with the community. The writing is what makes the event, but the community is what makes it special.