Exuberant Imperfection

“The world is a lot more fun when you approach it with an exuberant imperfection.”  – Chris Baty, NaNoWriMo founder and author of No Plot? No Problem!

It’s day two of National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) and I’m 1,704 words into the requisite 50,000 required during the thirty days of November. That number of words puts me a little behind, but the day’s not over and several write-ins are scheduled in the upcoming days which are guaranteed to boost my word count.

During NaNoWriMo, fellow wrimos (that’s what people who attempt the NaNoWriMo challenge call themselves) gather in a predetermined location to work seperately on their projects all at the same time. Tommorrow’s write-in will be held in a conference room in an office building. Sunday’s write-in is at a Panera restaurant community room. On Monday I’ll host a write-in at Colin’s, a locally-owned coffeeshop near my house. Other write-ins are scheduled throughout the month. If you live in central Ohio and are participating in NaNoWriMo, you can find the calendar here.

During five prior Novembers, I have written two memoirs and two novels (I wrote one of these novels twice) with the help of NaNoWriMo. I have not yet published any of these projects. They are in varying stages of doneness. My first NaNo project, the memoir about my father and I playing golf the last summer of his life, is the oldest and most complete book. Another author might have finished it years ago, but I am slow and perfectionistic. That’s part of why I adore NaNoWriMo. There is no time during November for the inner critic to take hold – at least, not if you want to win.

I am encouraged by visiting the Published NaNoWriMo Novels page. Scrolling the list, I see one hundred eighteen books created during NaNoWriMo that went on to be published, many by well-known publishing companies. I recognize several titles including Water for Elephants and The Night Circus. NaNoWriMo is a welcome, supportive structure in which to write. For me, it’s also a great adventure and a chance to reunite with friends I only see once a year. As a bonus, I get some work done!

How do you plan to get your writing work done this month? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.