Once a year, the writers of the world rally together in attempt to each write fifty-thousand words in one month. It’s called NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It’s an exercise in both writing prolifically, but also in camaraderie. Along the way, we’re treated to pep talks from amazing authors, and everyone who reaches 50k “wins.”
I made my first NaNoWriMo attempt in 2012, learned a few lessons, and successfully reached 50k when I tried again in 2013. I didn’t come back to it because, well, it’s a time-suck and the manuscript I wrote in 2013 was too rushed to create any usable material. I felt like NaNoWriMo was a fun experience, but bordered on being counter-productive when it came to my writing style.
But now that I’m keeping a consistent writing schedule I’ve become far more prolific, and a lot more confident in my ability to tackle multiple projects at once. I got an idea in May for a sci-fi novella between 20k-40k words, and my goal is to overwrite everything I can possibly think of about it to reach 50k, then cut it back down. There’s a possibility that along the way I’m going to discover that this thing is actually going to be a stand-alone novel, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Anyway, I’m temporarily calling the project, “SPACE CIRCUS.” It’s got a circus from the future and a sexy Japanese ringmaster and time loops and multiverse loan sharks and AI and aliens and jerk boyfriends and a serial killer. So. I should probably just admit it’s going to go way over 50k.
While doing some research/prep work for my NaNo writing project, I realized I wanted to make my point-of-view character an aerialist. Learning to use aerial fabrics has been on my bucket list since I was a teenager, so I figured this was as good an excuse as any to sign up for classes. So I did.
Aaand, here are a couple videos of my first day:
What you can’t see in the videos is how nauseated I was by all the spinning and swinging and going upside-down. I was absolutely green in the gills by the time we were done. One of the students actually ducked out and tossed her cookies. So…there’s some useful insight I guess?
I’ve already taken a second class as well, though we ran out of time and didn’t get to take videos. So far I’ve learned how to do the mermaid, the frog, the box, make a swing, do a flip, and we’re just starting to learn how to climb, which I’m terrible at. Everything, literally everything, is harder than it looks. We didn’t get nauseous at all during the second class, and I think it’s because our teacher realized having us spin so much at the beginning of Day 1 had been a bit of a mistake, hahaha. But I brought ginger ale and ginger chews for everyone just in case.
I’ve already fallen really far behind on my NaNo word-count — so much so that I was a little tempted to let the whole thing go this week. But committing to these classes has made me want to hold on. I don’t want to throw away this experience and tell myself I’ll just “write it later.” So my goal for Week 2 is just to tread water, not get super stressed about catching up, but just staying afloat. I have a writing retreat planned later this month so I’m hoping to do some make-up work then.
Anyway, thanks for coming on this journey with me. I’ve brought ginger ale in case you get dizzy.