Last year, I attempted Nanowrimo. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s a rather crazy challenge to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1,667 words per day, so if you’ve read 2K to 10k by Rachel Aaron, maybe it’s not so crazy. For me, it’s crazy. I’m lucky to hit 1,000 words in a day.
People do Nanowrimo worldwide every year. There are even two other challenges during the year (April and July), so some people do it three times a year.
I didn’t finish last year. I would have, but Thanksgiving finished me off instead. That last week was a huge zero for me. To echo what I’ve heard several times, “Who schedules a writing challenge over Thanksgiving holidays, really?”
I learned some things about my novel writing process from that attempt, though. I really do need to outline, at least the basics, in order to write with any sort of speed. (And relevant content. I recently weeded out a few tangents on the topic of airport lounges.)
I can always write when I sit in the chair and stay focused. So why don’t I sit in the chair every day? That’s a really good question. If I could answer that question, I wouldn’t have a problem. I could blame my busy life, or my day job, but let’s face it…there’s always a way to carve out an hour. Or half an hour.
It’s easier to pick up the thread of a story the next day as opposed to a few days or a week later. Writing every day is crucial. I already knew this one from screenwriting, but with novels I think it’s even more important because there are so many words…!
Finally, even when everything I write for the day is absolute dreck, it will usually lead me to something better. That’s comforting.
So for the next month, I’ll be over at Nanowrimo every day. Join me if you like!
On this site, I’m anticipating very short blogs about my progress. With a focus on progress! If at first you don’t succeed…try, try again!