We’ve passed the halfway point in NaNoWriMo, and I’ve managed to keep on track pretty much every day (or make it up the next day if I miss it by a little).
As a first this year, I’ve actually attended write-ins with some other writers in the area. It’s incredible what a little bit of accountability can do for a person. Sitting writing with others is fun and motivating, and it doesn’t hurt that I’m competitive, so a 15-minute sprint to see who can write the most is exactly what I need to get the words flowing.
I decided this year to write a story I’ve been mulling over for a little while, called Hell’s Bookstore. I didn’t really do a whole lot of planning for this month. I basically just had a list of things I wanted to include (mostly drawn from real-life experiences, I do work in a bookstore, after all), and I’ve just been writing them in. Honestly, there’s not even an overarching plot, more like a collection of anecdotes from the bookselling life. Everything from silly questions to mixed up book titles, irrationally upset customers to sassy responses.
And yet it’s been very fun to write, and cathartic, too. I can’t lie, it’s a lot of making fun of things people say and do in the bookstore. But, when in the service industry, one has to cope however they can. And if this book were ever to see the light of day, it would be dedicated to all my fellow booksellers and retail workers.
Flying by the seat of my pants has been an interesting change of pace from all my latest projects. Everything else has been pretty well planned. Most of the time when I sit down to write this month, I’ve got no idea what’s going to come out. And yet somehow I’ve made it past the halfway point.
I’m not sure what exactly it is about November that just somehow makes it possible for me to stick with a project, but I’m always glad of it. Now if I can just find a way to carry it over into the rest of the year.