Writing for Nanowrimo

If you’ve been following me here for a while, you know that I generally participate in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) every year. A lot of people complain that November is too busy for trying to write a novel, but thousands of people around the world do it every year. Maybe it’s crazy to do it the month before Christmas, but is there really any perfect month to write a novel?

Like finding the perfect wedding date, it’s never going to happen. All you can do is plan things the best you can, don’t take on extra commitments, and leave as much of your holiday preparations as possible for after you’ve finished your novel.

How am I doing this year, you ask?

Last year I finished my novel on about November 28. It was over 150,000 words, I had attended an out of town conference, and my mother in law passed away. It was one year when I had serious doubts about whether I would be able to finish my book in the month of November. (You only need to write 50,000 words to “win” Nano, but my stories are longer and I prefer to finish the full novel within November.)

But back to this year. I finished my first draft on Monday this week. Not a 150,000 word blockbuster this time, no conference, and (so far) no deaths. At least not in real life, no comment on the book… I did end up taking on a major commitment in my non-work, non-writing life, which has meant a bunch of unplanned meetings, emails, and various administrative tasks. And that’s life. It happens in November, just like any other month.

I enjoy Nano. If you are someone who does not enjoy writing at this speed or who “fails” to reach your 50,000 word (or other) goal, don’t beat yourself up. If life gets in the way, don’t let it get you down. Prize the words you write, and keep your balance. Enjoy the journey.

Tell me what you think!

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