Preparing for NaNoWriMo

I once heard awhile back that when asked what their dream job was, a whopping 40 percent of people replied it was to write a bestselling novel. Being one of those 40 percent, I find this both staggering and overwhelming, but I take solace in the fact that:

1) I am actually a writer, and

2) that number has dwindled since the reality TV epidemic (it always surprises me how many people in this world want to be famous for doing absolutely nothing)

Since I lost my job, I have been backpatted and assured by friends and repeatedly by my husband and mom (love you guys!) that something bugger and better is out there for me. It was meant to be. So call it coincidence, but less than 10 days after my last issue went to press, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins.

I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile, and have been thinking about my novel for even longer. So last night, I took the plunge and signed up! Now, with an update on Facebook and this blog post, I am accountable to my “Friends” and the blogosphere to give it my all. The goal is to crank out 50,000 words in one month. They say last year out of 200,000 participants, 30,000 saw this to completion. I’m guessing that even with my “full-time job” of job hunting, the occasional freelance gig and watching Jed, that I have way more free time to take this on than most who take on this challenge.

It’s all about quantity, not quality, which will be a challenge in and of itself. I’m a harper. I can linger and obsess over a single phrase for hours. But this contest will force me to just keep going, get it out on “paper”, and deal with the editing later — a whole new approach for me. I’ve done a little research in the past 24 hours and it turns out there are two types of NaNoWriMos: those who thoroughly prepare with charts, graphs, character sketches and color-coded Post-its… and those who don’t. Being that I’m throwing my hat in the ring at the eleventh hour, I fall in the second category… what they call the “pantsless” approach. I learned all about it from a fellow pantsless writerĀ here (thanks, Amber!). Totally made me feel better to know I’m not the only one flying by the seat of my pants (or lack thereof). Plus, Asheville seems to have a great NaNoWriMo community with write-ins twice a month where you can get together with others and simply write. While those meet-ups are all about writing, I’m also secretly excited about getting to know other writers in the area as all of my writer friends are scattered across the country.

This probably means my posts here in November will be short but they will be.

Anyone else writing a novel or taking on the literary Everest that is NaNoWriMo? How are you preparing for it?