NaNoWriMo–in February?

My friend, Kady, is embarking on a solo journey for 31 days. She is doing her own NaNoWriMo from February 1 – March 2.

Kady told me, “Since February has 29 days this year I’m giving myself until March 2nd because 1) This is my first time damn it, I’m going to need that 31st day and 2) The kids start vacation on the 27th and that may seriously cut into my writing time!”

Kady is a married mother of three boys (all under the age of 8) and has been wanting to do something writing related for years now. It wasn’t until she read “No Plot, No Problem!” by Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, that she decided to write something.

Baty pushes quantity over quality, he believes that writers get tripped up trying to write perfectly the first time around, and that everyone needs a deadline. But what struck a chord the most with Kady is Baty’s advice against being a ‘one day’ writer, as in “One day I want to write a novel.” Kady says,  “I say that to myself ALL THE TIME. I thought after I read that, Why not let today be the day!! and decided to do the Nano in February. Simple as that. I’m at a point where I’m getting anxious to figure out what I want to do with my life.”

First order of business was to make sure she had someone pick up the slack when she’s immersed in her writing. She says, “I mostly needed to have Eric [hubby] back me up on this. I needed to know he was going to take the kids out for the day if it’s week 3 and I’m seriously behind on my word count. Otherwise, I’ve told a handful of people about it. I’m hoping having people know about it and ask about it will give me the drive to keep going!! I just hope they don’t want to read it when I’m done!”

Kady is one of the most organized people I know. For instance, she is preparing her tax documents, putting all her CDs on Itunes, and cleaning out her fridge in preparation for her writing frenzy. She explains, “so that I won’t be tempted to do mundane things just to avoid writing.”

As a writer who also waited so long to get “serious” about snagging her dream, I asked Kady where she finds her motivation. “I’m mostly motivated by the curiosity to see if this writing thing is for me. Plus I like a good challenge. I’m a creative person at heart so something like running a marathon isn’t a challenge that appeals to me but writing 50,000 words in one month seemed like a good idea! It’s something I want to do even if it doesn’t turn out great.”

Is she terrified about any of this? Feeling confident? Yes, and yes! She admits, “I’m terrified that I think I have a lot to write about and that on Day 2 I’ve already written it all! I’m nervous about getting stuck, about having characters that fall flat, and about what people might think! Having said that though, I’m pretty confident that no matter what I’ll reach 50,000 words by my deadline (March 2).”

With Kady’s personal NaNoWriMo right around the bend, it’s ironic that her 5-year-old son, Ben, asked her, “Who are you?”

Kady said, “What?”

“You know, are you a teacher? A policeman?”

“Well, mostly I’ve just been your mom because you guys need a lot of taking care of but I’d like to be a writer so I’m going to start doing that soon.”

Ben said, “Yeah, I like that.”