I have been intrigued by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those not in the know) since its inception back in 1999. *insert ‘holy crap!’ here* Every year I consider participating, and every year I don’t. The usefulness of such a harsh deadline is appealing – sit down, write, get the words out! – especially if one has a rabid internal naysayer who otherwise doesn’t shut up. The goal is to have a finished novel of 50k in 30 days. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Two thousand words a day easily allows this goal to be met, though woe unto you if you fall behind.
My life has gotten, over the years, decidedly less complicated. My partner and I have an understanding: we work our jobs to pay the bills, and when we come home we want our time to be our own. She’s content to go off and spin or craft, and I want to be left alone to write or read or knit or be with the critters. The unfortunate side effect of working a fulltime job outside of the home is, by the end of the day? I want to not have to use words. I’ll read, but often writing is beyond my ability. Words overwhelm and I just want quiet – and my brain while I’m writing is lots of things, but quiet ain’t one of ‘em.
As November bears down on me, and I find myself slipping further and further behind on my WiP goals (75k by the end of December, which, when I started, was 25k words a month, for three months) I wonder if NaNoWriMo isn’t a solution to helping me get caught up? What do I need to do in order to get caught up?
I need to have my holiday gift projects done. They already almost are, but I have a lot of finishing touches to take care of. Lots of last minute touches actually translates into a lot left to do, even if the bulk of the knitting is finished. I have a bit of vacation time coming up next week, and I’ve already planned to get caught up then.
I need to decide that Fairy Queen can wait for attention. I’m torn here – I’ve been working on this collection in one way or another for 2 years, now. This means that I really want to see it finished and out (and it’s so close to being done!) and I’m also desperately tired of dealing with it and I want to work on new, fresher stuff. It’s likely I’ll compromise here: I’ll work on it as time and brain-power allows, but I’ll turn of the pressure to get it done ASAP.
I need to get the various short stories I’m working on either finished or in a decent stopping place. Including the one I started this morning. Because when one is behind schedule, one obviously is going to get up and bang out 1k words on a new, unconnected tale. Right? I mean, what else?
I know other authors go back and forth about NaNoWriMo’s usefulness. It’s going to work for some and not so much for others. Like any tool, really.
I’ll need, I know, to give up extraneous reading time. Which is always, always where I balk. I can still read: the commute to and from work, and my breaks at lunch will give me an hour of reading time a day. But, I’ll need to scale way back. And I never want to, because I find other folks’ stories as intriguing as my own. With less work. Which is awesome, at the end of the day.
So, I’m also trying to get books that have been hanging around for a long time read before November first. Just in case. (Including, finally, Gods of the Asphault by H.E. Ellis. Halfway done. Likely will finish today, later. Post to follow). And then, I guess well see if I still feel like saying, hey, maybe I’ll do this.
Do any of you NaNoWriMo? Have you before? Did you enjoy it? Did it help your writing? What did you learn from it? Would you do it again?