Six years ago my wife mentioned that one of her coworkers had told her about a thing where a bunch of people were going to write entire novels in the month of November. (In an odd twist of fate, later that same coworker was my roommate, and my ex-wife was the coworker.) I immediately latched onto the idea, as I had started novels before, but had never seen them through. Already I had been noodling on a story idea, and now here was an opportunity to do something about it.
I signed up and soon I was sitting at Callahan’s (the old location at the start of the month, the new location at the end), cursing the short lifespan of the battery in my Sony laptop, trying to wrestle long, rambling sentences into a long, coherent narrative. I barely made the word count by the deadline. I closed the file, closed the laptop for a day, and then started on another novel. I have written almost every day since that first NaNoWriMo. I have not read the product of the first year’s efforts; only one person can claim that distinction. Melinda reported that it had its moments, and yes, I was correct when I recalled that there was a lot of sex in it.
Of course, along the way I started saying to myself, “boy, it would be nice if my word processor did x,” and so Jer’s Novel Writer was born. Then I quit my job, took a road trip for several months, and moved to Prague.
All because of NaNoWriMo.
So, if you’re thinking of starting a novel on Wednesday, please be careful.