Autumn is coming, folks. Once upon a time September meant new school uniforms and sharpened pencils. It meant the start of something.
Happily it still does though. Well not the school uniform bit, but the rest. Because about three years ago September was reborn for me. That was the year I discovered NaNoWriMo.
My first effort, Boundless as the Sea, flew by the seat of its pants, but I was amazed at how much ground I covered with a late start and little thought. It was an amazing learning experience and left me with a rough draft all ready for polishing.
Year 2 brought camaraderie and team work. I wordmongered. I sprinted. I let the housework pile up around my ears and I flung myself over the finish line with barely a syllable to spare. That was Banshee. A sadly unfinished opus, but which contains the grains of something wonderful.
Both years I hit the 50K mark. Both years I WON, because I met a personal challenge which meant the world to me. But equally, both years I was woefully unprepared.
This year has been a Bad Writing Year, lost in a fog of job changing and house buying. Painting tiles has taken the place of painting characters and being plunged into a whole new world of work has been mind-boggling and all consuming. My writing goals disintegrated under the sheer weight of doing.
But here we are again, approaching the time which is both the beginning and end of my writing year. It's September. And I've given September a new role. It has become (in my mind) NaNoReMo. National Novel Reading Month.
To prepare myself for the strenuous mental work out that is NaNoWriMo after a year of flabby fecklessness I'm going for full immersion therapy. I'm going to consume my chosen genre, dive straight into other people's worlds. I'm going to tear them apart and analyse them. I'm going to work out strengths, weaknesses, rights and wrongs.
And then folks?
I'm going to plot.
Which for me is practically unheard of.
If September is all about reading, October is all about plotting. That means gathering top tips from plotting gurus like Ruth Long (aka Bullishink) and hoovering up crumbs from their heroes: Larry Brooks, Laurie Hutzler... the list goes on.
The daydreaming has already started. I'm starting to jot down notes. I find myself freezing whilst doing the washing up because something has fallen into place.
November is just around the corner. I, for one, can't wait.
There's a nip in the air. It's telling my rusty writing cogs that the summer is over and the time to delve deep has come.
God bless NaNoWriMo. Get ready to wordmonger!