Operation NaNoWriMo

So I’ve never been a big fan of writing sprints. I write with intention and with the goal of crafting beautiful sentences and phrases and building a story. Thus, my writing comes to be more slowly.

NaNoWriMo feels like the exact opposite of this. There’s no time to think or create methodically. It’s just an all-out sprint towards the finish line. And while you can do as much revision as you want after the fact, I’ve just always been a bit turned off by the concept. Additionally, I find the idea of coming home and writing like mad to meet the daily 1600 word requirement to be a daily dose of misery after sitting and writing at work all day.

So why the sudden change in attitude towards NaNoWriMo? Well, I’m riding high from my last publication and I am ready to roll with NightWind. Thus, I’m going to be doing a modified version of NaNoWriMo. I don’t plan on completing the 50K in 30 days. Nor do I plan to write a full first draft. But, I am going to use the month to make some serious headway on my next project.

Stephen King says you should be able to complete a novel in a season. But, Mr. King, while he is a writing juggernaut, doesn’t work the 8-5 grind as a writer. If I could stay home all day and focus solely on my on writing, then NaNoWriMo would be a breeze and maybe I’d be as prolific as Stephen King (probably not :P). But, given that I do work a full-time job as a writer, my aspirations are a little more realistic. My goal for NanoWriMo is to write at least 500 words a day, 1000 if I’m lucky and get as far into my draft as possible. I’m already sitting pretty with my outline and my mass of characters. I also have the voice down too. I used the NaNo concept to get to this point in October. My goal was to work on some aspect of NightWind every day of the month. While I didn’t exactly hit every day, I made a lot of progress. The story is pretty well laid out, most of my characters are pretty robust and I am really satisfied with where everything stands. This method seems to be working, so I want to use the motivation it provides to continue to work on this next novel.

NaNoWriMo is an intense marathon and sprint all wrapped up into one. For some people, it’s a great way to bang out a draft or to meet that goal of writing a novel. For the rest of us, it’s not ideal. But, why does there have to be a hard and fast rule about how NaNoWriMo works? There doesn’t. When you’re approaching a massive project, whether it be a novel or a dissertation (my boyfriend used the NaNoWriMo method – or a version of it – to complete his dissertation a few years ago), there’s a version of NaNoWriMo that might work for you. You just have to get creative and remember to stay true to you.

Is anyone else planning to get into the spirit of NaNoWriMO this year? We only have a couple more days before the kickoff! Good luck!


5 thoughts on “Operation NaNoWriMo

  1. I wrote my whole NaNo project last year in sprints but it did end up being in a very different voice so, although I want to complete the 50k this year, I’m hoping to find a way to stay more in my “slow” writing voice. I suspect it’s going to be a really interesting exercise for me this year. I was speaking to someone today about how some people write best when they can immerse themselves in it for, say, four days at a time and other people can write well in a routine of a set amount of time a day. My (non-writing) day job means immersion is hard to achieve in my life but it’s definitely my preferred approach to writing. The problem is though the only time I really get to do that is when I’m on holiday and then I get exhausted! So I’m hoping to find balance this November and a sustainable and productive writing routine that fits around the rest of my life. I hope you have a good NaNo and will be interested to hear how it goes for you.

    1. We sound like we have similar writing styles! Writing and working a full-time job is super hard! Kudos to you for working through it and good luck KC with your project!!

  2. Alas, NaNo would be my undoing. I completed one around five years ago and came away with a book that has taken about as long to edit. I think a modified plan is more sane.

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