This year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month) is in full swing, and I’m working hard toward the 50,000-word goal for the 30 days of writing. I’ve got a major advantage, as I’ve been working on a project for a few months now, off-and-on, and had about 20,000 words prior to the month’s beginning.
In Syracuse, we unfortunately don’t have many coffee shops open after 9:00p.m. or so, my preferred time to write. I teach during the morning, and afternoons have never been a productive time for me. If I’m not in Recess, a coffee shop in Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood, you can bet I’m in Bird Library on the Syracuse University campus typing away. I wish I were more of a morning person, and I’ve forced myself into this habit in the past, but it just hasn’t been in the works for me, lately.
I’m about 26,000 words into my novel If We Deny History, which covers a family still reeling from their oldest son and brother’s suicide and egregious act of violence. Julian, the main character, grapples with the similarities he sees in himself with his older brother as he graduates college and explores the world with his friend Talal, a young man who is addicted to prescription drugs and has to confront his own family’s heritage and past. All the while, father Gavin works as a government lobbyist in Boston and Washington D.C., sister Galia travels to Columbia on a WWOOFing mission, and mother Susan confronts her own life, spirituality and place in the world after finding out she has breast cancer.
All these stories converge as each person’s life and drama spins madly on- randomly, accidental, aimless.
Don’t wish me luck– these things are all about dedication. You have to just sit down and write, each and every day. Get something down. That’s what’s tough about writing… it’s not anywhere near as much fun as it seems.