I’m embarking on a little writing exercise called ‘NaNoWriMo‘ this month…for those who know what this is, you know that calling it ‘little’ is silly. And for those who have never heard of it, here’s the deal:
NaNoWriMo is the short form for “National Novel Writing Month” … a web-based contest of sorts that is all about writing a novel in a month: 50, 000 words in November. It’s crazy! It’s coffee-fueled! It’s fun! It’s so freaking hard to do!
I tried last year, but after about a week life got in the way. It’s hard to work, take care of the kiddo (who enjoys getting up while it’s still dark outside), take care of everything else AND be creatively writing every single day. Because if you break the numbers down, you need to write 1,667 words a day to hit the target. That may not seem like a lot. And admittedly, at first it wasn’t. But as the days wore on and my patience wore out, I found myself with no plot to speak of and no writer’s itch to scratch.
So this year I’m trying again. But I’m sort of cheating. I’ve already started my second book (NaNo rules state you can have an outline but nothing previously written down). I’m about 20K words in and while I have other ideas for other books, I really want to get this one finished. So my goal during NaNoWriMo is to get a solid first draft done…or almost done. If I can get 50K works written down this month, I’m going to be so SO close to having a first draft. Now it will likely be messy, because one of the rules of NaNo month is NO EDITING. And there’s good reason for that. You could toil away on a chapter or two for the entire month and make them so polished they’re blinding, but that isn’t going to get the other 50 chapters finished. So I’m trying very hard not to edit, to be a ‘pantser’ (this is someone who writes by the seat of their pants, versus plotting a storyline), and to write every single day.
My alarm is set for 5am so I can at least get 30 minutes in uninterrupted. This morning I got 700 words written before the kiddo burst out of her room, raring to go at 5:30 am. But I managed to find time to write another 1k today, so at least for day one, I’m on track!
If you’re also doing NaNoWriMo this month, please let me know! I’m happy to offer support and tell you to stop procrastinating on Twitter and get to work. As long as you’ll do the same for me…
So I raise my overly caffeinated coffee mug to all who have done this successfully, or are giving it a go this year – happy NaNoWriMo!