If Walls Could Talk: A Novel in a Month

M.H. Norris

For some reason, I got it in my head a few weeks ago that doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) would be fun. It’s a good idea I said to myself, an excuse to knock out a draft of something in 30 days.

The above statement is true, it is a good excuse to knock out a draft of something. It’s also a great excuse to knock out something because you want to see if you can make it work. Having the deadline and the community of support behind you while you experiment and play and push yourself is a good idea and an invaluable tool.

National Novel Writing Month

Because NaNoWriMo is an experience I recommend and—knock on wood—so far I haven’t fallen behind.

So, in today’s edition of If Walls Could Talk I’m going to take a few minutes to take a break from my frantic attempt to make today’s word count and talk with you. Hopefully encouraging any of you readers who are embarking on this journey with me.

What is NaNoWriMo? I realized that I should take a second to introduce it in case you haven’t heard about it.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place in the month of November. It is a time where writers strive to write 50 thousand words in 30 days. If you are not in the mood to do that math right now, that equals out to about 1667 words a day.

While NaNoWriMo is fun, and I highly recommend it, it is a challenge and isn’t for the faint of heart.

This is my third time doing NaNoWrimo. If I win, it will only be my second win. And that victory was not easily won.

Day 4 so by the end of today you should have at least 6668 words if you want to be on track. If you are behind, don’t sweat it. I was behind in 2013 (the year I won) and did a come-from-behind-victory thanks to a road trip. I took advantage of being stuck in a car to catch up, get ahead, and coast over 50 thousand words.

One thing I did: I put the NaNo calendar in my Scrivener research tab so I have quick and easy access to what goal I should have for each day (it also takes away my excuse to wander to my browser tab and spend ten minutes looking it up (and then wandering to Facebook to chat with people—when you’re struggling for words, anything is much more interesting than writing.)

Stories are a precious thing. 18thWall is dedicated to finding fun and unique stories and bringing them to you. Taking the old ways of writing and bringing those styles forward.

Because there is something about a book that just takes you to a special and magical place. And as writers, we get the privilege of transporting readers to worlds that only previously existed in our heads. How cool is that?

So here’s my pep talk, finally.

Write that story that is on your mind and in your heart. I received that advice ages ago from an author I greatly admire and I wanted to make sure I passed it on to you.

And write. This is advice for myself even because I’ve struggled already this month to reach the daily word count. But each day you get to have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you make it.

So good luck fellow writers! May we all make it to the end of this crazy month together with a fresh new story upon our pages/screens.

If you need me, I’ll be frantically getting to today’s word count. See you next week!