Are you revving up for #NaNoWriMo?
Probably not–the bulk of my blog readers are not authors so this annual event means not a jot to them. Unless they are reading the products… (And here is the one I wrote last year, Highland Fling.)
NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month (international, more accurately) where would-be and already published authors attempt to write a novel in 30 days.
When I say novel, again the more accurate description is 50,000 words (novel length ish). But International 50,000 Word Writing Month does not scan as well so NaNoWriMo it is!
To finish 50,000 words in 30 days, your daily word count is 1,667 words a day. I LOVED the exercise last year. It made me fall in love with writing again. The book I wrote has since grown arms and legs in the form of a follow-up, Highland Heart and another book in development, Highland Wedding. Maybe in due time I will end up with Highland Divorce, swiftly followed by Highland Funeral.
Stats and targets
If you sign up to NaNoWriMo officially, i.e. by creating an account on the website, you get to add in your daily writing word count and the system presents you with stats—time to target and that kind of thing. Personal stats make me drool as yes, I am that OCD-person, clicking refresh and sync all the time and deriving intense satisfaction from every update.
Thirty days is often cited as a ‘magical’ tool. From exercise (100 squats a day for a month) to abstention (Dry January and Sober October*), four weeks of doing something consistently is reckoned to lead to better habits.
I concur. I was already writing extensively prior to NaNoWriMo, but the exercise turned me into a writing MACHINE. Since then, I can count the creative writing days off on one hand.
Write, write, write
A year of writing Monday to Sundays, taking my laptop on trains and planes, getting up early to write before work, writing in the evenings in front of the television (appalling habit, I know), and telling myself constantly writer’s block does not exist. Push on through and the words come.
Having said all that, I am not doing NaNoWriMo this year. A sad sentence to type, but I am in the middle of revising two books. I love the lure of the shiny new, and would much rather start a brand new book than rework an already created manuscript. Discipline, the better Emma Baird growls at me, nothing new until you finish what you have already started.
However, the beauty of NaNoWriMo is… YOU CAN DO IT ANYTIME. Dry January and NaNoWriMo in one fell swoop to begin 2020?
*All the better for leading up to Bender December, right?
All the best Emma. I hope you reach your daily, weekly, and final target.
Best of luck, Emma. May you achieve all the goals you set for yourself. Personally, I’m being a little more reserved in my target for NaNoWriMo (just to make daily-ish progress with writing projects), but I hope to keep things going. Write on!
Thanks Russell, I hope all is well with you.
Emma, I really enjoyed this post as it chimed some truths back towards me. I’m doing my own ‘over the hump’ thing in which I take the stubborn climb up a narrative impasse and then break on through to the peak and a long free ride to the bottom. Just putting the words in makes all the difference. A turn of the pedal followed by another and another…
Still dipping in and out of Highland Fling and still impressed.
Thanks, Mike! The slogs to reach the peaks make it all worthwhile… Happy to do a beta read for you when you are ready. Emma
Pulling through the hard climb of the second book. Started doing a little freewheeling and it adds to it. Still love you romcom. You’re a very good writer.
Awfy kind of you. I loved the concept of AWOL and think it has loads of potential as a series!
Away Lovy too.