Today is November first, and for the first time in ten years, I’m not starting a novel for National Novel Writing Month.  I’ve taken part in the 50,000-word writing challenge every year since I’ve heard about it in 2005.  I haven’t always won, and a few years I bailed on the project early when other things in my life overwhelmed me, but I always went for it.  But I haven’t done much of anything with the manuscripts, even the ones I thought had real potential.
I’m not sure where my fear of editing came from, but what kind of writer doesn’t finish what he started?  So rather than start yet another new project, I’ve decided to dedicate this year to editing.  If I can write that much in a month, I should be able to edit a good chunk of it.  My goal is to have a beta-ready draft of my 2014 NaNo project, “Fabulous Powers” to hand off to beta readers by the end of the month.  This might be a bit ambitious, but I want to try.
National Novel Writing Month has always been about quantity over quality, but I’ve taken the ethos a bit too much to heart, I think.  I’ve produced a lot of words, and never shown them off or polished them.  So I’ve put my formal announcement here.  Gentle reader, please hold me to account.  Notice the widget on the side of the page, charting my progress to 80,000 words.
And if you are an aspiring writer, let me urge you to take the plunge in my stead this year.  It still isn’t too late to sign up.  National Novel Writing Month is a challenge, and it isn’t an easy one, but it was the push that inspired me to write in the first place.  It gave me the opportunity to meet an incredible group of writers in my area, who gave me encouragement, inspiration, and companionship on my writer’s journey.  NaNoWriMo was the starting gate for my journey as a writer, and while I’m not as far as I would like to be, I’d have never gotten there without it.  See you at the end of November.
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