Thursday, November 19, 2009

Homage to the Village

By Nichole Giles

When I first decided I wanted to participate in this year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge, I had no idea what this month would bring. The intention was to seriously force myself into productive writing, even though I knew I’d be extremely busy.

And it’s paid off in spades.

First and most important, as of posting this blog, I have written 43,138 words in a novel I’ve been excited to get started on for months. That alone is great motivation.

But then a whole lot of my writer friends jumped into the mix, and our group got bigger and bigger, and as we all pushed each other to take this challenge, our buddy lists grew to contain close to thirty people. All of us writing a novel during the month of November. Now, I don’t know about you, but having that many people watching my progress gives me a big push too. Because suddenly it stops being just about me and my novel, but about all of us, and all of our work, and how we can encourage each other to push past our boundaries and just write what’s inside us.

Now I’m seeing benefits I hadn’t anticipated. A lot of my friends are working on projects that they’d previously planned, but had been putting off writing for years. Some are taking journeys into new territory by writing in a new genre or age category. Some are pushing themselves to write more than they ever normally would, just because everyone else is doing it. Isn’t peer pressure grand in this form?

For me, it means I’m giving up a lot of sleep, my house is a mess, and Thanksgiving is a week away and I still haven’t made food assignments to all my family members. (I should at least go buy a turkey and cook it before they show up at my house.) And it’s all okay, because by the end of the month, I’ll have accomplished this huge thing. And maybe once the editing is done, my friends and I will swap our works, so we can see the fruits of our laborious November.

Once again, I must pay homage to my village people, for they give me strength, endurance, and healthy competition. With their support, there are no boundaries, no limits to what I can accomplish.

This week’s writing prompts are also a village competition, made up by me and my good friend Danyelle.

1.Use the word toenail clippers, or a reference to them, somewhere in the text of your story.

2.Make use of any of the following words, in honor of our upcoming holiday:

Christopher Columbus
Pecan Pie
The Santa Maria

Good luck with weeks three and four, and over the holiday, don’t forget to write!



Carolyn V. said...

43,148?! Whoop - That's a ton. Congrats!

L.T. Elliot said...

Way to go, Nichole! I've been so impressed with your work ethic. I've totally dropped off the boards of Nano though because, for me, the competition was hurting my ability to keep at it. I was too worried. Now, I'm happily moving along but not worrying about how badly in comparison. =] Different strokes and all that.

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks Carolyn.

You know, L.T., you're right about the different strokes thing. We all have to do what works best for us. And if you're doing better without watching how everyone else is doing, that is definitely the way to go.

Good luck and much success to both of you!