By Deb McLeod
For so many reasons. First and foremost for me, it’s Birthday Month. An excuse to celebrate by going out to dinner, eating cake, checking out a movie. My husband is a good present buyer. Every October I get that postcard from The Fresh Fish Company. Some years we go to the brunch and I get my age in percent discount. That just gets bigger every year.
But birthday isn’t the only good October event.
I grew up back east and in early October, the leaves burst into reds, oranges and yellows. It was time for hiking and the last camping trip of the year. October was football games. School was in (I loved school). The air was crisp and cool. There were new sweaters to be worn. With the weather changing, there was a nesting feel to home as we readied ourselves to batten down the hatches and get through the snows about to come.
October meant first fires in the fireplace. It meant an end to endless summer salads. Beef stew and chili came back on the menu. There was homemade soup. October was always the cozy before the cold, gray winter descended.
Now I’ve found another reason to love October: NaNoWriMo.
November is National Novel Writing Month. But in October, hopes are high, the vision of completing NaNoWriMo’s 50,000 words in a month is a given. Committing to taking a huge chunk out of my current project is almost intoxicating. I can do this. In October, I know I can do this.
October is the prep. What writer doesn’t like the prep? Readying the plot so I have an idea what I’m writing; setting up my safeguards so I get time to write; prepping my psyche (and my clients, friends and family) to my new schedule.
My writing has been front and center for some years now, but committing to those 50,000 words in thirty days brings the idea of page production to a higher level. I have 2000-word days on a regular basis. But 2000 words seven days a week isn’t something I normally do outside NaNoWriMo. Because there are days that are filled with clients; there are daughter days; there are doctor’s appointments and obligations that I let creep into my writing time.
But in October, I begin to carve out my own time. Come November, when I’m in the trenches, I want to have had a good October behind me. Because October is the cozy before the cold, gray November and the commitment I made. It’s the October that gets me through.
This year I’m sharing my October with anyone who wants to do NaNoWriMo. I’ll be at the Highlands Ranch Library for a kick-off party on October 21st. We’ll talk about prep. We’ll get ready for November.
During November, I’ll be hosting a write-in every week (day still to be determined), also at the Highlands Ranch Library. I’ll bring writing prompts with me and we’ll have contests and companionship as we get our work done together.
Then in the cold of winter, on December 9th when the deed is done, I’ll host a “What’s Next” event at the Highlands Ranch Library so you can put your November effort to the best use.
NaNoWriMo is a part of my writing process and it starts with October. The best month…
About the Writer: Deb McLeod, is a writer, creative writing coach, co-founder and executive director of The Writing School. She has both an MFA and a BA in creative writing. She has been teaching and coaching for over ten years. Deb has published short fiction in anthologies and journals. She has written articles and creative nonfiction. Deb has been a professional blogger, tech writer, graphic artist and Internet marketing specialist.