Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 75 of 365: A Few Thoughts on NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo if you're exactly that type of person. I've been getting emails from the association in an attempt to pump me up for the upcoming month. Emails with things like, "Dear Writer, Please write me - Love, Your Novel."

Last year's NaNoWriMo was a phenomenal success. I took a book that I had been trudging through for a year and blasted out about 58,000 words in November, plus an additional 20,000 words over the first week of December. I had a lot going against me: my computer's hard drive fried (which resulted in a solid week of pen-to-paper writing, without the guarantee that the rest of my novel was even still around), work was being a special brand of stressful, and I was gearing up for my brother-in-law's wedding. Granted, this meant I spent roughly a week in Florida, waking up extra early so I could get my 1,000 words in by poolside (even though I was wearing a sweatshirt and long pants by said poolside), but there was still so much going on that I'm slightly shocked that it all came together in the end.

I've been going back and forth on whether or not I want to jump in with my recent novel. I've learned that writing this particular manuscript has been like tiptoeing around a maze. The only time I can shoot ahead is when I know I have a clear path before me.

However, I felt like my second manuscript was the book that would never be fully written, forever stunted at Chapter 3. And now I'm in the process of editing it.

There's a lot of freedom in knowing you have to churn out a certain number of words of day, regardless of quality. You stop being such a perfectionist and you just write. And, while it's frustrating to edit work that was written so fast that entire words are missing, there's something comforting in knowing that you are never killing your darlings.

I might use NaNoWriMo to work on a different project (while slowly making my way through my third manuscript's maze). It's not a novel -- I doubt it would hit 50,000 words -- but it's something I want finished by January. So, we'll see. The nice thing is that, with the hubbub of moving and settling the house over, I've gotten into a nice habit of writing. Let's see what I can keep up in the upcoming months.

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