In the beginning, there was only an idea. And that idea planted itself in your head and just wouldn’t stop messing with you. Maybe it was the idea for a great story, a great character, or just a desire to try NaNoWriMo on a whim. Whatever the idea, it’s time to let it come roaring out. And that can be scary.
Pulitzer Prize wining historian, Daniel J. Boorstin (from Atlanta!) said that, “The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource, adding color and suspense to all our life.” And as Jimmy Carter (who is also a writer from Georgia, he’s just more known for other things) says, “Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”
Tomorrow the madness begins. It can be scary, both if this is your first year and if it’s your tenth. An entire month where you’re out on a limb, trying to reach for the fruit your mind is capable of producing. But don’t start worrying now if you know you aren’t writing up to your fullest potential – that’s what second drafts are for. NaNoWriMo is all about getting your idea’s first draft down on paper now. You may write a whole lot of garbage, but you know, you’ve got some fresh fruit in there too.
So write like the wind this first week. Hit or surpass that daily 1667 goal as much as you can this week. (Blatant Foreshadow Warning: You’ll want a cushion.) Let your characters run rampant throughout your setting. If your story doesn’t follow with what you had planned out in advance? That’s ok. Have fun this first week, caught up in the excitement of a grand journey with friends. Get local – hit up a write in or ten this week, chat in your neighborhood thread when you want to connect locally, pop into the chatroom for some instant motivation or commiseration, get ideas from the prompts and dares we’ll be sending out on our twitter (@nanolanta) and check out the daily adopt a day threads for a daily pep talk and day long word war challenge.
I leave you with this quote from Carson McCullers, a writer from Columbus, GA.
“It is only with imagination and reality that you get to know the things a novel requires. Reality alone has never been that important to me. A teacher once said that one should write about one’s own back yard; and by this, I suppose, she meant one should write about the things that one knows most intimately. But what is more intimate than one’s own imagination? The imagination combines memory with insight, combines reality with the dream.”