I’m Not Really Doing NaNoWriMo…

As many of you are preparing new projects for Nano, I’m preparing to wind down a neglected project for Nano. Sadly, my novel in progress has suffered by the love I’ve been throwing into my short stories. I don’t balance the two well – I’m balancing enough in my life in general that I really don’t need complications in my writing life.  I firmly believed in NOT doing Nano ever in the past, but will participate for the first time.

It isn’t that Nano isn’t a great idea. It’s just like any idea: it works for some people, it doesn’t work for others. I can blast out words like any other writer, just not so many days in a row. I’d burn out. I’ve written 3 other novels before this one in varying lengths of time, the shortest being 3 months. The most I wrote in a week was 20k. But that was the finale of the book and it was pure adrenaline (and lack of chldren in my life at the time) that got me through it. Sure it was fun. Yes, I got my novel done. But I’ve always been one to do things on my own schedule.

My poor neglected novel in progress is 50k into an 80k story. I can do 30k in a month, but not if I’m working on the short stories. My goal is to get to the novel first. 2k a day is reasonable for a week or two. I’ll finish it, then move on to my short stories.

My strategy for novel writing, when it was my sole writing project, is to write on it for 5 days a week. I had a minimum word count per day, then a “power” day on which I would go nuts and push hard with the writing, aiming for a content goal (i.e. 3 chapters) then take my break over the next two days and read (something other than what I’ve written). I’ll try that again, I think.

For those of you considering NaNoWriMo, good luck and have fun. Don’t compare your progress to other people and do watch for signs of burnout. Remember it’s ok to take a breather. 🙂

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3 responses to “I’m Not Really Doing NaNoWriMo…

  1. I’ve done Nano twice, and won both times, and then realized it didn’t work well for me. I slowed way down on first drafts after that.

    Though now I’m trying ot speed up again, so I could see doing Nano again in the future. Seeing all the people talking about it makes me want to join in. Not this year though.

  2. Sounds like a good strategy to me. I’ve never done nano, and considered doing it this year, but then I learned that my father will be visiting for an extended amount of time in November. I never seem to get any alone time to work when I have guests. So, we’ll see what happens. Good luck getting your novel completed!

  3. I remember the first time I heard of NaNo, my reaction was “Why would I do that?” I reasoned that anything I wrote that was that long would be crap. Then I got older and wiser and realized that sometimes you need that competitive push. I planned on it last year, because nothing had made me move from stories to novels so far, so I thought it would help me–but then I started writing a novel last July and didn’t need the push. I tried to add 50k to that novel last November, but didn’t have the time. I most definitely won’t be doing it this year–not with a toddler and a 5-month-old. I may do it again sometime in the future, if I need another push to start or finish a longer work. Good luck! I hope you meet your goals!

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