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. 🙂