The NaNoWriMo Challenge

For those trying to figure out the mouthful – NaNoWriMo  – It is a challenge that writers the world over take up every November to write each day and complete atleast 50,000 words of a novel length work in the month. I have taken it up for the first time this year.

It started in 1999 in San Francisco and come November, a quarter of a million people turn into “Wrimos.”
Details are available on the NaNoWriMo website.

In India, there are writers in Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi, Kochi, Kottayam, Ahmedabad and possibly others who have joined in.

Why did I take the challenge?

It took me over 10 years to complete my first novel. It started in June 1999 and was my first attempt at writing. I went through much of writerly angst, self-doubt, self-ridicule, insecurity, frenzy to be published, writer’s block, the list is long. Learning about the craft of writing was possible by reading articles on the internet, interviews of published authors, publishers, agents and subscribing to writing newsletters. It was also during this period that I finallly accepted writing as a long term vocation that I will work at along with my career in business and project management and running a home.  Finding my writing voice happened somewhere along the way. I dabbled in poetry and short stories. I wrote monthly articles and features on India for a magazine published in New York that nobody in India ever got to read. Except for a few colleagues and associates who spotted my writing by catching the magazine on a flight or a hotel in the US. When they told me about it, it was a great high! I had got my desire to be published channelized by these writing gigs.

But the novel remains central to my writing existence. The first one is almost complete and I have started to submit to publishers and agents. With the NaNoWriMo challenge, I have kick-started my second novel. It is an idea as yet undeveloped. But the book will emerge now, as I write everyday of this November. I want to do in a month for the second novel what I took years to do for the first.  Its audacious, over-ambitious. But I am raising the bar higher on myself and want to reach it if I can. I am going to try my hardest best to reach it. For, during these years of struggle with the first book, I discovered the joy of writing. A line or a turn of phrase or a paragraph even, that brings a smile to my face as I go to sleep. A turn of phrase that pleases me.

Writing is the one thing that I hope to keep doing until the day I die.

But let me not get carried away with all these happy thoughts. There’s writing to be done.
So now,  back to Day2 of NaNoWriMo 2011 !!