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!