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Thank you all for the follows since my last blog post! I did not expect it and it was such a pleasant surprise.

Winging it is not the greatest idea for writing a novel. Also partying on the first day of NaNo is not conducive to high word counts.

coffee

And I am still a rock star procrastinator.

I knew I would not get much writing done on the first day but I was hopeful. I did bring the iPad to the hair appointment a

nd stared at it dutifully while my highlights were setting in. I did not write anything.

My volunteer gig at school ended up being very short, so I could have a whole hour to write. However, I was starving and obviously writing could not be done on an empty stomach.  Lunch somehow took longer than expected and it was time for my next appointment.

My third opportunity was when I brought my youngest, Sasha  to gymnastics. I could have solid 45 minutes at Starbucks to write. I felt badly about crashing at Starbucks without buying something.  So I stood in line and spent 7 dollars on a decaf latte and  a spinach square.

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Tomorrow is Day 1 of the new novel. I am supposed to write 1,667 words, so I have 50,000 by the end of November.  Despite my best intentions I have done no plotting or planning. I have some ideas that I scribbled down back in July and I have a vague image of the opening scene. I do have a working title and a short synopsis that I am going to share once they stop sounding stupid to me.

I had been trying to get all sorts of chores out of the way before the start of November, so I could focus on the novel. But that’s always futile when you have a bunch of kids and pets. Dirty laundry piles up about as fast as you can wash and sort the previous pile.

For my first day of official novel writing I have  also scheduled a haircut appointment, a doctor’s appointment, I am going to volunteer at school for an hour, then will pick up the kids and take Sasha to gymnastics. Oh, and I also need to clean the house and get ready to host some girlfriends tomorrow night for fondue and a movie.

Photo: CJ Photography

I am obviously a pro at creating obstacles to starting the novel. Although, I swear that all my engagements had been scheduled before I even thought of signing up for NaNo. But then I did not make the slightest effort to cancel anything.  I am considering bringing the iPad to the hair salon and typing 1,667 words while my color sets in. That of course could be a fabulous idea if I had any clue of what I was going to write.

Using the official NaNoWriMo terminology, I am going to “pants it”, i.e. write it by the seat of my pants. At least my hair will look fabulous while I am doing it.

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I am going to write a novel next month. Yes, just like that. A sci-fi novel that I have been procrastinating about for a while. I am going to let Siberian Daughter get some rest and work on something completely different.

First I thought maybe I should say “I am going to TRY to write a novel” or “I am going to START writing a novel”. Then I thought what the heck. If I start my public announcement so timidly it will take away from my own motivation.

There is this worldwide initiative called National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. It provides crazy people like me with an online platform and a social network of encouragement to bang out  50,000 words in the month of November. They even have local meetings!

50,000 words is the length of an average novel. I have an idea, loads of motivation, and the month of November. Every day I keep wavering between keeping this experiment quiet or letting the world know. If I keep it quiet to myself, and I fail, no harm no foul, right? But then I miss out on a potential support from all my friends, and the benefit of not having to explain my temporary insanity come November.

But then if I fail I will have to admit it publicly.

So what’s considered a failure  when you set out to write a novel in a month? A failure is that you DO NOT write a novel. Well, I am not that gullible to believe that banging out 50K words would constitute a novel. It would be a pretty decent size first draft though.  And according to my favorite quote of Ernest Hemingway “The first draft of anything is shit”. I am not under pressure to deliver a masterpiece.

So is a failure then not writing 50K words? Even if I write half of that I would be pretty happy with myself. I will have overcome procrastination, will have learned something about my writing process, and will still have a draft to work with.

So what if I discover that I hate the idea of being a writer? The solitude of it, the constant internal monologue, the boring research.  Will that be a failure? No! That will just mean that I can stop moaning and groaning about wanting to be a writer, and channel my energy elsewhere with clear conscious. I tried.

So there is really no way to fail. Either way you look at it. I have been writing 750 words every day for a month, as part of a writing exercise. I will just need to double that.

So here it is then. I am going to write a novel in November.

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I first wrote this post for Art of Storytelling blog where it was posted on July 24, 2012

English-Russian DictionaryRead Part I of the post

I have developed my own approach to writing in English over many years. Even though I just started writing fiction in English, I had to write in English before.  My blog was one of the examples. I have also had to write a lot of business documentation in the last 15 years. I have always been known for poignant complaint letters.

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I first wrote this post for Art of Storytelling blog where it was posted on July 24, 2012

Lolita

I nursed the idea of writing fiction for many years.  Just like for most budding writers the idea seemed both fascinating and daunting. One of the most intimidating factors for me was writing in English. English is my second language. (more…)

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