I realized with some dismay today that I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year. Come November, I’m committed to having a finished first draft on deck to start editing. I certainly won’t be in any frame of mind to start Book 2 at that point.

Doing NaNo last year was the kickstart that got me believing I could give writing fiction a go. I’ve been doing freelance journalism for close to a decade now but had always wanted to write a book. Various things kept me from trying in all that time – we’ll out fear as the top one, and belief that I didn’t have the time as the second. Then last year a friend and I basically double-dared each other to do NaNo, and I found out that there definitely was time in the day for it once I conquered that fear of starting (my hands were literally shaking when I typed out the first few sentences). I went a little crazy last November, neglecting myself, my family, friends and all other writing commitments shockingly, but around the 27th I “won,” penning my 50,000th word. And it felt so good to do it that a few months later when this idea came barrelling into my brain, I actually had the confidence to sit down and start to write it out. Six and a half months later I’ve learned so much about how I can be a better writer and grown this little kernel of an idea into a thorny bramble of a story, so it’s kind of a drag that NaNo won’t be a part of my life this year since I feel I owe it so much.

Next best will be cheering on my friends who do take on the challenge, and hopefully scrounging up a few bucks to donate or spend in the NaNo shop, and that’ll have to do until 2013 when hopefully the timing works out a bit better.