I asked my students this morning if they knew what day it was.
“October 1st!” (Yes, obviously. It’s written on the board.)
“Thursday!” (Thank you, Miss Wisenheimer in the back of class.)
“The feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux!” (It’s a Catholic school.)
Finally, one perceptive student:
“One month till Nano?”
Yes, one month until NaNoWriMo starts. A time for planning. A time for anticipation. A time for making grand plans about all the writing I’m going to do as soon as midnight hits on November 1st.
And then, of course, November 1st comes and goes and I barely eek out 100 words because… FILL IN THE BLANK (a. the Noodle has a terrible cold, b. *I* have a terrible cold, c. November 1st falls on my grocery-shopping day and I have to make dinner and grade a stack of papers and clean the house because my in-laws are coming over and the cats peed all over the laundry room floor, d. All of the above).
Or November comes and I start writing my brilliant novel and I’m hitting those word count goals — BAM, BAM, BAM! — and the world is my oyster and life is just grand. Until November 10th, at which point I HATE my novel and the words are dripping out like a tiny leak in the faucet and the world has ceased being my oyster and is only my half-eaten can of pickled herring that expired in 2008.
And so the cycle continues: Every October, I’m gearing up with fevered excitement for NaNo, and by December 1st, I’m crying into my stale beer.
So this year, I’m going to try something different. I’m going to join the rebellion. I’m going to be a NaNo Rebel.
And I’m going to do it all — unfiltered, unedited, unburdened by shame or regret — right here on my website. Every single one of my 50,000 words will be written here, on the blog, as I’m composing them, straight from my brain to you, the readers. No edits. No skipped days. Guaranteed, every day, for thirty days, I will write some fiction on this blog. (I can’t believe I’m promising this…)
“But what makes that rebellious?” (you might ask)
“After all” (you say), “blogging a novel is still writing one, and per the rules of NaNo, it still counts.”
But that’s just it. I’m not going to be writing a novel.
Noveling during November hasn’t worked for me. I’m tossing aside the task of writing a novel.
I’m taking on a challenge I’ve never really taken on before. I’m doing something for which I have had no practice and very little skill. I’m doing something that is (for me) slightly bonkers.
I’m going to write short stories. Four, to be precise.
And a novella. Because that’s what’s itching inside my brain.
All completely disconnected from each other. No shared universe. No shared characters. Each one separate.
For the next 31 days, I’ll share my ideas and outlines and some world-building for these different stories, and then, on November 1st, I’ll begin writing.
Each day, new words. Five different stories (or maybe more). One month. All in real-time.
I’m pretty sure this is madness. But I’m doing it anyway. Stay tuned.