To NaNo or not to NaNo, that is the question
This year, after much internal debate, I entered NaNo2017. Unless you are super new to writing, every writer knows that November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNo or NaNoWriMo), when thousands of writers worldwide attempt to write 50K in 30 days.
I had nothing to prove by entering. I’ve written 50K or more in a month through personal challenges, writing group activities and online challenges. Several of my books started through NaNo.
I can make the story pretty in the revision process.
I don’t need to buddy with other writers to hold myself accountable. The one time I entered a cabin at CampNaNo, the chatter was minimal.
I didn’t have anything to prove.
In addition, I’m visiting family for most of November. I’m not operating on my own schedule. My routine is topsy-turvy. I don’t have my big white chair to write in. I don’t know where stuff is. In a word, my timetable is unreliable.
Then my main character, Annie, stepped in and told me that’s exactly where she needs me to be—outside my comfort zone. Annie is experiencing a lot of stress, questioning her sanity.
Working cover for Brilliant Wreckage, a story set in WWII.
A Challenge and a Goal
While visiting, I reconnected with a friend who has started her second book. We challenged each other in a NaNo like fashion to complete our first drafts by December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. Very fitting as my story is set in WWII.
Then I looked at my unpredictable schedule and realized there are one or two pockets of time, randomly spaced, that allows me to write. Knowing my writing speed (700-800 words an hour), I could possibly write the 1,667 necessary daily to complete 50K in 30 days.
If I mind map and outline each scene, and knowing what the major scenes are, I can use my time efficiently.
Will I make my goal? With an uncertain schedule and and least one day lost to traveling back home then readjusting to a normal routine, who knows? But I owe it to Annie to write her story in a non-familiar environment.
Have you entered NaNo2017? What are your reasons?