“Maybe you should skip Nano this year.”
That was some advice from a friend last month, and probably very good advice, considering I have 4 novels deeply in progress and finding time for them is already an issue.
However, I’m a Nano addict. I confess.
Nano, being Nanowrimo – National Novel Writing Month – is the quest to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel during the 30 days of November. That adds up to 1,667 words a day. Of course you can binge and purge on words and do 3,200 one day and skip the next day and so forth, as long as you end up with 50,000 words, previously unwritten, by midnight US Eastern time November 30th. The name is a bit of a misnomer, since it is no longer national, but international. People everywhere are doing it!
I guess the question would be why are they doing it?
Because they can. And because it’s a great nudge to get that spark of a story idea out of the back corner of your mind and in print (or pixels). And because it pushes you to release your nasty, overly critical inner editor and helps you focus on simply getting it down. Editing can come later if you so choose (and if you plan to do anything with it more than see if you can, then that does need to come later, as first drafts are never publishable other than for your friends and family).
This is year number seven for me. If I had known about it when it began in 2002, it would be year number nine. Yes, I’m that addicted. And another admission: the first year I tried, I didn’t make it to 50.
I could blame my 30 hour per week job and my then-young and more demanding kids, but the truth is, if felt overwhelming. So it was. The next year, I went in thinking I darn well could, and would. So I did. It is a large part state of mind.
Of course, we all have our trials going on that do have to be dealt with, and for some of us, reaching 20,000 is the same as others reaching 50. The point isn’t the winning; it’s the trying.
Other Nanowrimists will be visiting my blog this month to talk about their experiences and share a bit about their stories. And I’ll be back now and then to share more of mine.
Everyone has a book inside. Choose one November (maybe even this one – it’s not too late!) and join us in the craziness. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself.