One year ago, I set out on a journey to prove to myself that I could write a novel. I decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal was to hit 50,000 words in one month. I met the goal, having conjured over 50,000 words into existence in twenty-eight days. Unfortunately, 50,000 words only got me halfway through the story I was trying to tell. I decided I would take the month of December off, and then finish it right up after the New Year.
Yeah. About that…
I’ve tinkered with it off and on since reaching my Nano goal, but there has been no real progress made. Writing, it turns out, is hard. Even after all the things I learned through the process last year, forcing myself to sit down and just write proved nearly impossible. There are always excuses, you know? Our brains are brimming with reasons not to do the things we love. Sometimes they were valid, sometimes (often, actually) they weren’t.
If you asked me one week ago if I was doing Nanowrimo this year, I would have told you, “Nah, I doubt it.” (This is actually Paulish for, “Oh, hellz no.”) When I asked myself why not, the answer was immediate: “I proved to myself last year that I could do it, why would I go through that mental anguish again? I did it once. I’m good.” Except… One year later, and my novel is sitting at the same word count when I left it. That’s only acceptable if I let it be.
So I’m not.
I will be participating in Nanowrimo again this year, with the intent to finish my damn novel. (Correction: To finish my novel’s first draft. The process of actually “finishing” the novel stretches far enough into the future that looking at it gives me vertigo.) However, I will be doing things differently this time. Last year I proved that I could get the word count, which was an important milestone for me as a writer. This year, the number of words is a secondary concern. Instead, my focus is going to be on building a daily writing routine that I can sustain year-round.
Did you know I currently have three (3!) books started at the moment? Even if I use November and get my novel knocked out, I’ll never finish the others unless I figure out a sustainable way to keep writing. So, that’s my goal this year. I want to be able to sit down and write for two hours every day.
Last year I decided I was taking Nanowrimo on somewhere back in August. This year I decided it somewhere back in yesterday. Last year I had time to solicit and organize a bevy of guest posts to the blog. Not so much this year. The blog will continue posting on its regular schedule, but I can’t guarantee that my words will be… you know… coherent.
If any of you dear readers out there are so inclined, I would gladly accept a guest post if you’ve got one on tap. I’d much rather present my readers with something intelligible than the gibberish that I’m sure will be pouring out of my fingertips before all is said and done. If you’re willing to help, leave a comment, shoot me an email, or contact me via something electronic.
Although I’m flying by the seat of my pants and a little out of my comfort zone regarding the amount of planning I’ve done, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this month.