This month I’ve been taking some time off to join in the fun of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. Never heard of them before? Well, they’re a crazy, national group of people who decide to write a novel in the month of November!
Now, I never expected this would be something I would want to do, but a friend told me about it, and I was intrigued. Before I knew it, I was signed up, and deep into the word count. (which is over 35,000 as of today, by the way.) The goal is to have 50,000 words by the end of November, and it is not an easy task!
If I’m completely honest, the thing that motivated me the most in the beginning was the idea of getting a 50% discount on a fun computer program called Scrivener, if you finish. Scrivener is a program that helps you organize your writing, (there, you were hoping this post might get relevant to organizing at some point, right?) and it’s for more than novels. If you are writing a play, or even a college paper, Scrivener is a great way to keep track of all the different sections of your work, easily move them around, and generally try new things with your writing. I’d encourage you to check it out here. I have really enjoyed using it so far, it is making the process much easier.
The other interesting thing so far about writing a novel is that it has given me more appreciation for creative people, and how they operate. I always thought of myself as “creative” in some ways – I like to make things and dream up fun ideas – but I’ve never been involved in a project quite this large before, or in something that is so completely distracting from everyday life.
When I look up and find that I’ve been writing for a couple of hours, and had no idea that it was time for lunch a while ago, I feel like I understand many of the creative people I know much better now. It didn’t use to make sense to me how they could be so caught up in what they were doing that they couldn’t focus on anything else, but now, having experienced it myself, I get it.
So, forgive my absence from the organizing world for another week and a half or so, and meanwhile, check out Scrivener if you have any kind of large-scale writing project to tackle.