"Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?" someone wrote on Facebook.
"What?" I thought.
I had no idea what NaNoWriMo was or whether it was something that I wanted to be doing. A little bit of messing about on google revealed all. NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge. The idea is that you commit to writing a novel, any novel, in the month of November. The only proviso is that you have to have written 50,000 words by the 30th.
I have to admit that my interest was piqued. As I understand it the idea is not to write a masterpiece - rather you write as fast as you can which encourages you to go off on tangents that might prove interesting at a later date.
As is my wont, I got all fired up and started thinking of ideas. Within a few days I had one that I thought that would work (a travelogue incorporating seven people, seven degrees of separation and the seven deadly sins.) However, after a bit of head scratching I decided that this was far too complicated to rattle off in 30 days and I sort of went off the whole idea.
But as the start date approached I began to get supportive emails from my fellow NaNoers in Yorkshire. It's all over the internet once you know where to look. Strategies for every conceivable angle of the project, social media groups, writing tips. And it's worldwide. There are hundreds of thousands of people all preparing to hole themselves up in November and write.
I decided to give it a bit more thought. I came up with a second, far less complicated idea and now have six days to decide what to do.
- it might be fun
- it will make me write lots every day
- it will give me chance to practise all the things I'm learning about on my course
- it will feel fantastic if I finish
- I will have to write every day ( its 1,666.666 words a day if you're struggling with the maths)
- it might get in the way of my course
- my family will have to make allowances
- I will feel like a complete failure if I don't finish
On careful reflection I have decided that fear of failure is the only true con and so I need to focus on making sure I don't fail. Good planning is the key I feel. That and telling enough people what I'm doing so that giving up will just be more painful than battling on.
So to that end I have decided to devote my blog's Facebook page to giving a daily update so that I have to keep going. Or lie - which is not an attractive option. Then I will have an outlet for the highs and lows of my month of fevered writing and hopefully a bit of support when the going gets tough. I'm hoping it'll be like having your friends positioned at strategic places on a marathon course to cheer you on when spirits are flagging. So, if you fancy being part of my virtual cheering crowd then hop on to Facebook and like Imogen Clark at Home and then you can watch me turn myself inside out for a month!