Wild hair. Crazy notion. Stroke of genius. The Cliffs of Insanity. NaNoWriMo.

They all fit into the same category, folks.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, and it's as crazy as it sounds. The assignment is to write a 50,000 word/175 page novel between the dates of November 1 and November 30. The idea is to promote quantity over quality, which is the only possibility working within this unreasonable time frame. NaNoWriMo has been going on since 1999, but I had not heard about it until last year. Last year, I thought, "What a great idea!" My next thought was, "What a great idea for people who are sleeping, who don't have an insomniac baby boy, and who haven't been awake for almost an entire year." When I was reminded of the event this year, my first thought was, "I don't have time for this." My second thought was, "I really don't have time for this." My third thought was, "I soooooo don't have time for this." The problem was that I really, really wanted to do it anyway.

Which, dear fans of my previous blog, brings me to Confession of a Potentially Crazy Person #64 :

"I'm going to try to write a novel next month."

I realize that this confession, maybe more than any other one, conceivably calls for the removal of the adverb "potentially." Anywho, check out my nifty web badge!

I'm going to anticipate the FAQs concerning this post, and answer them now:

1. Why do something so time-consuming when you have guests coming in for the week of Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, and the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows all in one month?

I got nothin'. Next question.

2. Why do this at all? It seems like a pointless exercise.

I agree. Doing NaNoWriMo for the sake of writing a novel that will, in all likelihood, turn out to be disastrous and never come to anything seems like a pointless exercise. Here's why it's not:

A) For a writer, even a novice, writing of any kind is equivalent to the hours of focused rehearsal a musician puts in to be excellent in her craft.

B) This novel has been simmering in my brain for almost 2 years. It has a decent shot at being slightly better than disastrous.

C) I have new ideas that will take me in new directions that have come to me now, just in time for NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo will help me get them out.

D) NaNoWriMo is a speed writing contest. I'm not good at speed writing because I absolutely cannot write without editing as I go. A 30 day time limit and a 50,000 word deadline hanging over my head should prove effective in breaking old and very bad habits. Besides, no novel was ever good in its first draft, regardless of how much editing the writer did as she went along. I must keep telling myself this.

E) Whatever happens, I will have made impressive strides in getting my novel written. No one can read the story in my head. I have to get it down on paper. NaNoWriMo will at least help me begin, kick my feathered keister out of the nest, if you will.

3. Do you plan to have a life at all outside of writing?

Absolutely. Some of you may be concerned about the amount of sleep I'll get or the laundry I'll be able to do, but I have a really good plan, which in all honesty, may or may not work. The plan is to put myself on a schedule, something my routine-oriented self really needs to do anyway. There will be time on that schedule for my time with God, housework, exercise, focused time with Micah and Brandon, my work schedule, the dinner/bath/bed routine and writing. Does that set me up for a sure and successful cross of the 50,000 word finish line? Probably not. And I'm okay with that. Really. I hereby publicly acknowledge that I have higher priorities than to write a novel inside of a month!!! But man, oh man, am I going to try!

Here's the thing--I'm crying out for a regular routine. I'm crying out for a goal, a finish line . . . even one that I may not cross. I'm crying out to get all of these jumbled ideas in my head out of my head and onto paper before the characters that are stewing around in there get angry and launch a nuclear rebellion in my brain. I'm not crazy, really. Just creative. All things born in the brain must be birthed at some point, or things get really messy in there. Can I get a witness? No?

I have nothing to prove to you. I have nothing to prove to myself, even. I just want to write, and to have a legitimate, albeit ridiculous, deadline. So, good or bad (and let's be honest--it'll be bad), win or lose, succeed or fail, I begin in 4 days.

Wish me luck!

For more information regarding NaNoWriMo or the NaNoWriMo organization, visit their website at