While in grad school, I heard whispers about a contest to write a novel in a month. I thought: Who the hell would be mad enough to do that? I’ve got a poetry thesis to worry about.
Then, three years ago, I decided: Yes. I am mad enough to try this. And, three Novembers ago, I was a sad little poet trying to write a novel and failing miserably. I put the story–which had more in common with cat-sick than anything resembling coherent progression–away.
[Ok. I kept it in a secret little box with pretty ribbons where, on occasion, I would take it out. It was lonely.]
In 2011, I decided to again attempt NaNoWriMo. And guess what? I actually did it! I finished. There is something really cathartic about being able to say: I wrote a 50,000 word story.
Is my end product what I would really consider a novel? No–too short and choppy. But it is something I would call a seed-draft for a novel. That means there are significant portions to fill in/develop before I would call it a first draft.