Only a few more days left and I still don’t feel prepared. I guess you never actually do. One of the most common pieces of advice that I’ve encountered over the years is to just do it. Yeah, it’s scary, but if you never get started, you never can finish.
Writing a novel is like climbing a mountain. As much as you prepare for it, at some point you’re going to slip. Finishing that first manuscript, what seems like forever ago, was one of my greatest achievements. I scaled the mountain. And while I don’t feel I’ve reached the top, I can see the peak. I’ve been tweaking and polishing that manuscript ever since. It’s not published, not even close. It’s not quite good enough yet.
I think because I’ve finished the first draft of a novel, that makes me more nervous to start another one. I know how hard this process will be. Planning and plotting, that’s all the easy stuff. Prose and crafting your story and characters is a whole other beast. It’s an art, and not all art start out beautiful.
Adding the challenge of NaNoWriMo only complicates the task of completing a first draft. Mathematically, I will need to write about 1,700 words a day or about 12,500 a week. And that’s just to meet the challenge itself, that doesn’t include the fact that the novel will probably be longer than 50,000 words.
As November approaches, I have to admit, I’m getting nervous. But I also know myself. I know that if I didn’t do something like this, I’d continue to spend all my time on that one manuscript. It’s almost where it needs to be and I’m not done polishing it. But right now, it’s time to write another story. Time to explore new characters and another universe of tales. I’ve got a lot of stories to tell and it’s time to move forward.
I’m finding that starting that second novel may be its own challenge in itself. I know how difficult this will be. I’m going into this with eyes widen open. And through all the nervous jitters, I can’t help but feel a little excited to start scaling this mountain all over again.