November has always been a turn-month for me. The step change from October’s sodden leaf-mould underfoot to starry skins of frost, from autumn to winter. A crisp, glittering month. A month of acknowledgement, of reset, of possibility. Over the years, I’ve done much of my best writing work at this time of the year, and this bright (if unseasonably warm) morning I found myself planning an upcoming tranche of work with renewed energy and focus.

And I’m not the only one. November 1st is also the start of NaNoWriMo** and I officially salute all those writers out there–whether they be seasoned authors needing an extra focus or complete first-timers letting their imaginations run free–who are setting the first words down today and will keep going til they have 50k worth of novel at the end of the month. For anyone, that’s a brilliant achievement. I envy that freedom to simply write, unchecked, stopping neither to plan or edit.

Part of me would love to join the Wrimowers (I tried once, failed horribly) but my brain doesn’t work that way. It knows that by stopping to think and make the correct choice in the first draft, the amount of rework required in subsequent drafts should be less. I’m a relatively slow writer (especially at novel length, but I’m still learning that game) but it works for me.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, I hope you produce wonders. And if you’re not, today’s a great place to start something new anyway.


**Although the “Na(tional)” bit of the name has always irked me. It’s a global phenomenon, so surely it stopped being Na years ago? Why not “InNoWriMo”?

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