It’s past midnight, so start a new month and a new goal. I’ve put it off for years, using work as the reason, even though everyone else has to work, too. Now even that excuse is no longer, because I don’t have work. I knew the day will be coming, so a year ago I put it on my scheduled to-do project in Things. I was both excited and anxious as months passed, looking forward to November 1st, yet, dreading as it loomed. The fact that I had never written 50 thousand words of anything makes it a daunting task to do, no less in a month. Yet, I know if I don’t do it, then I’ll never be able to write the book I’ve wanted to write. If not now, when?
To get myself psyched, I’ve put together an arsenal of tools. I bought the Brain Wave app (iTunes) for my iPhone; I’m listening to the Concentration binaural program. Then I bought Scrivener 2, which should go live in a few hours, when the rest of the world strikes twelve. I’m using my MacBook Air exclusively to write my novel, so I can write it on my balcony as well as Starbucks. I installed the PlainText app on my iPhone to sync with my Scrivener files via Dropbox, for those moments I don’t have my Air with me and want to write a few lines or paragraphs. Also on my iPhone is a free app called WriMoDemon (iTunes), a cute and simple tool to keep me on course to 50K words. Yes, I’m ready to tackle the mighty beast, one word at a time.
NaNoWriMo is meant for novel writing, but I’ve no interest in fiction. The organization knows it, too, so it doesn’t enforce what you write, as long as you be true to yourself and start from scratch. It isn’t about quality but quantity, which is the opposite of what I’m used to, but, yet, I’ve come to terms that it’s what I have to do to reach my goal. I’m my own worst critic, so I doubt anything I write this month will see the light. But it doesn’t matter, since my goal is to build confidence in writing book-length projects. The genre I will be attempting is memoir, with focus on my past 12 years living in Hong Kong and my work in the wristwatch profession. My original focus was a book on wristwatches, but to write such technical piece in a month is wishful thinking. However, blending some of the more interesting experiences I had at work into my personal life will be fun to do, and I can extract the relevant parts when I’m ready to write THE book. Memoir is a good choice for this 30-day project, because I’m recounting personal experiences, so there’s no right or wrong, just my ability to recall and retell experiences and turn them into interesting stories. If I just write 1 to 2 stories a day, I’ll have up to 60 stories at the end of the month. Of course part of the fun will be to weave them into a meaningful memoir. If in the end it touches my soul when I reread what I wrote, then I consider my book complete and a success.