Well, the month is over and I'm happy to report that I achieved my NaNoWriMo goal, which was not to write 50,000 words, but instead to begin and complete the first draft for a middle grade novel that's been niggling around my noggin for the past few months. The good news is that I was able to accomplish this while teaching my two college english classes, babysitting several of my favorite babies, and hosting the family Thanksgiving.
Now before you get all snappy and accuse me of becoming an obnoxious braggart, take a deep breath and let me explain why I bored you with the above paragraph. It was not to show off (trust me, I'm far from impressed with myself), no I decided to tell you about this so that all of you writers and want-to-be writers can take heart that you too can accomplish your writing goal in a relatively short period of time without making yourself and your friends and loved ones crazy.
It also makes you realize stuff about yourself in regards to your writing. I discovered that I'm not writing new material nearly often enough and my goal is to write new stuff at least three days a week. I'm not setting up a word count requirement because sometimes the words flow like a fast river and other times they're more like a heavy object in a slow moving stream of molasses and I refuse to add undue pressure on myself.
The reason for my limiting myself to completing the first draft regardless of length is because I always struggle with the first draft and this one was no different. My newly completed story,
Shadows or Hiding Behind Shadows, is about a 13 year-old-boy dealing with the recent death of his mother as he finds two girls from Mexico hiding on his family's south Texas ranch. Since it's a middle grade it's only 35,000 words, which is a good length for this type of book.
My plan is to spend December revising and then sending it to an editor for comments because in January, I'm going to begin my search for an agent. I'm writing two posts this month and will talk about this process and why I've decided to find an agent, but for now, I encourage you to open your laptop, or break open your writing pencils and join me in a year-long writing frenzy.
And remember, no one likes a braggart.
Gabriella Austen author of sexy short stories
Susan Arscott author of YA and MG stories