NaNoWriMo is coming up, and as usual I won’t be playing along. I’ll explain why at the end. For those who don’t know, “NaNoWriMo” stands for National Novel Writing Month, an annual November game where people try to write a 50K word novel in one month.
Odds are that *some* of the people reading this will be taking part, some for the first time. For those of you who write solely because you like to write, maybe share your work online, I think it’s awesome. Good luck with your word counts and be interesting.
For those of you who would like to write professionally but haven’t reached that goal yet, I think it’s awesome (redux). Good luck with your word counts and be interesting. I’ll add something else, though: If you’re not already writing at this pace, consider this essential practice for how you will work year-round. 50K words in 30 days is only 1,667 (to round up) per day. Call it 1,700 to give yourself a cushion for those days Mad Men is on.
That’s not a lot. Many professional novelists would consider that a Meh day, and many others would feel like slackers. If 50,000 words in one month seems like a huge goal, take the NaNoWriMo game as an opportunity to stretch yourself and your conception of what you’re capable of.
I’m talking from experience here. I’m a poky writer myself, and 1,700 words a day would be a difficult pace to maintain. You know what? It holds me back, and I’m trying to improve my productivity by limiting distractions and prepping better for each session. Hell, I might even try Write or Die, as suggested by Naomi Novik here.
So have fun and do good work. Also, take the opportunity to challenge the limits you believe you have. It doesn’t have to be one month a year.