So…NaNoWriMo is here again! And well, actually, it’s soon over…
Last year I “enrolled” without really knowing what I wanted to do with the month, just that I thought that it sounded like an excellent idea to spend a whole month focusing very much on…writing basically. It turned out that I wrote a “book” – “” , because it is not (yet) a book in its physical form. But it’s still a book, if you know what I mean? It’s called “Det blev en bok om kärlek”, in Swedish. “It became a book about love” would be a direct translation – that doesn’t sound so good though (nooooow I get why movie and book titles have different meanings in different languages…never really thought about that). Anyway. The book starts with me sitting in a garden, the first morning after arriving to LA, now two years ago. Thinking “How did this happen??”. It was just so…unthinkable almost, all. I had just spent 11 hours on a flight – I, who not so long before that had claimed to never fly again – to “end up” in a city where a person without a driver’s license and who is used to walking everywhere is just…not really adapted to the reality of things.
“The book” developed on its own terms, onto paths I didn’t see coming. The title (that I made up to have something to fill out at the NaNoWriMo homepage as a participant, and which I kept after that), would suggest that the book is all about butterflies in the belly and trembling kisses and unicorns in the air. And it’s not. It became a book about a break up, a hard, heart wrenching break up, and the time before and after that. And the more I wrote, the more my own words showed me that even in the worst moments, there was love. It was all about love. I am here, where I am now, because of love. And I was there, in the really hard spaces, because of love. And I could so clearly see the beauty of it all, now, when telling the stories of memories that unfolded themselves at my fingertips as I wrote. Day in and day out. Quite magical, and beautiful what words can help us see, and feel.
For this year’s challenge, I half-half thought that I would take up the thread of the book, and use the month to revise and edit it, to make it a “real” book – even if it so far feels like a story that no-one ever might get access to except me; it would still feel good to fine-tune it from that month of “frantic” writing. But I also had a strong urge to write other things now. Reading what I wrote as a “plan” in the beginning of this month, I see that I didn’t stick to anything I thought I would, this time either. And as we’re now in the last week of the challenge, I also will be struggling to meet the goal of 50,000 words written during the month – so many other things have been going on over here, and I haven’t focused as much as I maybe thought I would have, on the writing (even if, in my head, I’m definitely in writing-mode all the time nowadays).
In other words, I am at this point not even sure I will “win” this year. I would have 20,000 words to write up until Saturday (it’s Tuesday today). Which…is totally doable – but not without a real effort. Part of me feels like this is just a silly thing to get caught up in, that there are other, more important things to invest my (writing) time in these coming days, than just reaching for a static number. And another part of me thinks that this itself might be a good exercise – to “force” myself to write towards a deadline – even if a kind of made up one, and even if the writing will not be all that excellent or “valuable” in any other sense than for my internal processes.
So far I’m hanging in there, and I guess we will see these next couple of days how it all works out!
Below is the link to NaNoWriMo if you want to join the challenge in the future – I highly recommend it, it’s fun!
(And don’t worry if it’s not a “novel” you want to be writing during the month – you can just do like I did, and join the “NaNoWriMo Rebels” 😀 )
And this is how it went 🙂