That’s right. This year I’ll be taking part in NaNoWriMo to work on my first full draft of my project for Quirk! It works out well because my project is pitched at 50k words and the manuscript is due by the end of the year.

I’ve always been attracted to the idea of NaNoWriMo. Mostly, I love the camaraderie and support between all the different people all over the world all striving towards one goal. I love the celebratory air and the nonstop cheerleading and motivation. I love how even though not everyone “wins”, there’s no shaming involved. So many people bounce back, year after year, determined to try and again and succeed.

I’m one of those people. I signed up to do it for the past couple years but never actually ended up writing anything. I guess you could say I got cold feet. It’s one thing to write when you’re simply writing for yourself and there’s no pressure, and another when you put your progress out there for the world to see. Taking part in NaNoWriMo means holding yourself accountable. And, while I’ve always been pretty good about meeting deadlines in my professional writing, my personal projects tend to get extremely drawn out over time. (It took me almost 5 years to write and revise my YA paranormal novel, Winter Wilder, and even that’s not fully revised to my satisfaction yet.)

The fact that this Quirk book is a professional project gives me more motivation to finish it on time, and it helps knowing that the 50k goal at the end of November isn’t just an aspiration… it’s a requirement. In other words, I have to win.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t be sweating over my daily word count and it doesn’t mean I won’t need the support and encouragement from the rest of the wrimos out there. I’m looking forward to taking part in group writing sessions in Los Angeles and getting to know other people jumping into this crazy month of writing.

If you’re taking part, be my writing buddy, and we can fight our way to the finish line together!