I am gearing up to participate in NaNoWriMo again, officially, this year. I don’t participate every year. My thoughts on it have changed. When I first started, back in…uh…2006?
[I know I participated in 2007. I wrote THE LITTLE FINANCE BOOK THAT COULD back then. But I think I did Regresser’s Evolution in 2006. There’s a novel that will never see the light of day. But, I digress…]
When I first started, I looked at NaNo as motivation to finally finish a novel in a concrete amount of time. Now, I look at NaNo as a conveniently placed “get shit done before the end of the year” motivator. Thus, I don’t always traditionally participate. One year, it was “finish all of the contracted short stories” NaNo. Another, it was “finish this damn RPG sourcebook” NaNo.
However, when the stars align, and I have a new novel to write, and it is scheduled for the fall, I try to schedule it for NaNoWriMo. This year, everything has fallen into place and it’s time for me to write the next Melissa Allen book, NEVER LET ME LEAVE. The first Melissa Allen book, NEVER LET ME SLEEP, was written during the 2011 NaNo in 13 days. That will not happen here. Mostly because it is a bigger book with more principle characters.
Now. Some people love NaNo. Some people hate it. I use it as a tool. It is an artificial deadline and it gets me working to deadline speeds. Most of the time, I look at my NaNo draft as a 50,000+ word outline and my next draft is the real book. This is my recommendation to everyone. Your NaNo book is your detailed outline. Nothing more.
I know I will do well because this is what I do the rest of the year. Only, I need to make my words publishable words. So far, this year, I’ve written about 145,850 new words of fiction. Never mind the emails, contracts, editing, etc… I’ve done. That’s just under an average of 15,000 new words to be published every month of the year. Or 3650 new fiction words a week. Or an average of 521 new fiction words every single day of the year.
Obviously, I don’t write every single day of the year. To date, my least amount of words written in one day (when I wrote) was: 11 (Jan 14). The most: 4512 (Feb 21, Rainforest Writing Retreat). The point is this: I wrote steadily and consistently to an average weekly word count. If I wasn’t writing, I editing but thinking about writing.
It’s nice to be part of the yearly writing mob scene because people who don’t really understand what it is like to write every day get a taste of it. Some people love it. Some people don’t. I’m going to enjoy my NaNo time and the fact that people, for at least a little while, understand what it is to be consumed by story writing.
I’m GaanEden on NaNoWriMo. Feel free to become my writing buddy.