It was cold, most likely because we lived closer to the mountains than Denver. I don’t remember if there was snow on the ground, but I do remember that we were tearing down the haunted house my clinic had put up to raise money for charity. I was tired because I’d stayed up for hours after the haunted house the night before doing the thing I loved the most. Writing.
That’s how my first NaNoWriMo started, at the stroke of midnight on November 1, 2002.
Memory is a weird thing for me. I’ll forget something I did five minutes ago but can remember the scent of the air in Louisville when I was walking through the Flatiron Crossing Christmas village to get to the theatre to watch the second Harry Potter movie again. I remember how much I loved school, I loved my clinic, I loved my husband. And at that time, I also loved NaNoWriMo.
The decision to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days was daunting, to say the least. The majority of what I’d written was fanfiction, and lots of it. My one attempt at a novel was fun but clumsy, but I’d grown since then and figured that even if it was terrible it would be something original.
Now, 16 years later, I have done NaNo plenty of times. I’ve won more often than not and I am confident I can write a novel in a month. I’ve published 3, about to be 4, books, I’ve had novellas in box sets, and I’ve had a book signing. I attribute this directly to NaNoWriMo, because without my very first novel I wouldn’t have known I could write one.
November 2018: let’s do this.