It is hard to believe today is the last day of September. While 2020 has been anything but hospitable, at times, it has seemed like it has dragged on forever while also going by quickly. I guess that is what happens to time during a pandemic.
As a lot of you in the writing community know, tomorrow kicks off "Preptober," or the precursor to the big show, NaNoWriMo in November.
If you aren't familiar, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is an annual event where people across the globe come together and pledge to write 50,000 words (which is a typical length for a novel) during the month of November. This means a person would have to write at least 1,700 per day in November to achieve this goal. It's up to you how you get your 50,000. You can do 5k days or even 10k days and then do less on the weekends. Or, if you are really brave you can stay up for 24 hours and write all day.
While, yes, NaNoWriMo serves as a way of giving a writer a deadline, which is something we desperately need at times, it's much more than that. It is really a time for the community to come together, have some fun, and inspire one another.
Virtual writing groups spring up, Authortubers do fun videos and host live sprints on their channels, and for a little while, we feel like we are with people who "get us" and can share in the excitement of completing 5,000 words in one day.
It's also the time when people announce a new writing project.
This year, I decided to return to a project I completed during 2018 NaNoWriMo. I'm doing a complete rewrite of "The Sapphire Key."
I wrote the book for my daughter because I wanted to create a role model for young women who was both strong and independent but also didn't forget about kindness and compassion. Showing mercy for someone, who probably doesn't deserve it, is a key concept in the book. And what better year than this year to focus on kindness and mercy.
After finishing the book, and editing the project, I sent out my queries. It was rejected 27 times. To say I felt defeated would be an understatement. However, I printed out every one of those rejection letters and pinned them to my corkboard. They serve as my reminder that I need to do better and that it is okay if not everyone likes my story.
I went back and read what I had sent out and I can see why it was rejected. I have grown a lot as a writer since then. I now see that my characters need to be more dynamic and that there is more to my villain than just a cold heart. The reader needs to see them in more grays rather than black and white.
So this is why I'm choosing to rework the story for this upcoming NaNoWriMo season.
If you are participating this year, let me know! We can encourage each other.
And, if you have any favorite writing groups or Authortubers who make great NaNo content, feel free to share below.