NaNoWriMo. Day One. All bright and shiny, aren’t we?

Posted: November 1, 2011 in NaNoWriMo
Tags: , ,

Words written today: 2,356

Not bad for my first day, but it’s always like that. You know it’s coming and BAM! Off you go! I’ve been chomping at the bit for over a week to get started.

Here we go, right? All bright and shiny. I found it hard not to start before today. You commit yourself to this idea of writing a novel in a month – you know it’s nuts – but you just can’t help but be excited about seeing what you can do.

This is my second year of doing it. Last year, I heard about it for the first time about 3 days before it started. I signed-up and jumped in without any idea of what I was going to write about.

I had started writing again about a year before. I gave up being a writer years and years ago for all the wrong reasons. I have a busy life with lots of stress, just like everyone else.

I agreed with a “friend” that I wasn’t good enough. See previous blog on my various acts of stupidity and that was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made.

Life had gone in a direction I had never imagined, most of it pretty brutal and unhappy. I’ve had to overcome more than my fair share of hurt and betrayal.

One day, I woke-up and I was 50. 50! How the hell does that happen? It was a really turning point for me and all in a good way. I spent a few months really taking a look at my life in between doing the paper chase.

I realized that I had never gone after the one thing I always wanted to be and do and that was writing. I don’t know how it is for other writers, but I hate having people read what I write. Doesn’t make much sense because isn’t that the main point of writing? Have others read it and like it?

The fear of rejection is very powerful. More powerful than I like admitting to. But there it is. I soon discovered the world of blogging and with a very deep breath, I published a silly little story on a website where I had been chatting with about 15 people the previous year.

The next thing I knew, they said they loved it, laughed along with me and wanted the next chapter. Chapter? What chapter? I had no intention of doing anything other than that little story and now people wanted to read more?

So, the next day, I wrote something else and they wanted more. Suddenly I was writing this book, a chapter a day and making shit up as I went. All thought the story was true!

Oh geez! What do you do? Do you tell them the truth that you’re just pulling it out of your ass as fast as you can or do you tell them that it’s true.

I said nothing and kept writing. After I posted one chapter, I got emails within an hour wanting the next one.

No one was more shocked than I. Plus I was doing it at work because I didn’t have a laptop or computer at home. Hell, I still don’t have TV or cable. I would come into work early, write something and post and then go on with my day. I ended up writing, for fun, what has now become the first draft of a novel.

I print it out and now my family wants to read it. They, of course, love it but they are biased but that’s OK. My sister then buys me this laptop with the promise that I will write everyday and never stop. I agree to 4 days a week and a deal is struck and I come home with this little laptop.

Fast forward to NaNo last year and I jump in and I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING! None at all. I remember spending a lot of time alone during that month and becoming obsessed with word count. I would check in on Twitter for some words of encouragement, and it helped. But in the end, the only one that can do the writing is the writer.

I found out I was committed to doing this and honing what I could about writing all by myself. I’ve read a million things about it, but it doesn’t matter. It’s all opinion. What matters is that I – and you – write and write and write and not worry about it.

So, here I am again and I decided to blog about it because maybe it will help me to do so and maybe it will help someone else. I hope so.

So here we are. The first day is complete. I spent the previous weekend getting as much done as I could at home. But the laundry will need to be done again this coming weekend, I’ve got to be out-of-town with no internet access on Sunday. My job will still require at least 60 hours of my time and the world will continue to spin with or without me.

I write because I like it, but it’s hard and lonely. There’s a lot of things I don’t do so I can write, but that’s my choice.

But for now, I’m good to go. I still don’t know how I’m going to get all of this done.  I love the idea of my story but getting it done in a month without me tossing the laptop across the room will be interesting.

So, how was your first day?

  1. dee says:

    My story is fairly similar to yours. Like you, my first year of NaNo started just a few days before the event, and I stumbled my way to a win with what seemed like only moments to spare. I made it, but just barely.
    And I write. Because I can’t imagine not writing.
    I’ll be checking back in here throughout the month. We can keep each other encouraged.
    Oh, who am I kidding. You’re going to have to kick me in the pants a few times. Don’t be offended if I do the same to you!

    • Susan Lewis says:


      Good morning! I totally stumbled around last year.

      This year, I have a really good idea of where I’m going with it.

      I will happily kick your butt and expect the same in return.

      Definitely stay in touch! Adding my commitment to blog every day about it is crazy, but I’m going to do it anyways. What the hell, right?

  2. cdyard says:

    You said “I don’t know how it is for other writers, but I hate having people read what I write. Doesn’t make much sense because isn’t that the main point of writing? Have others read it and like it?”

    I agree with you one hundred per cent. Writing is personal so if you want to “publish”, fine; if you don’t, fine also.

    On NaNo, there was this thread in the Newbie group about this. In fact, plenty of people write just because they want to and they don’t let anyone read what they’ve written.

    • Susan Lewis says:


      So good to hear from you again!

      Are you doing NaNo also?

      It’s getting a bit easier for me to publish when I get feedback, so I appreciate you not only reading what I write but also commenting.

      Writing is one of the most personal things I’ve done, so it’s good to know others feel that way too. A friend of mine is writing her first book and asked that I read the first draft because she knows how sensitive we can all be.