1667 words a day for thirty days.
I rack-up at least half that word count on social media every day, so…simples, right?
Except, somehow, it doesn’t feel so simple when the words are supposed to enticingly reveal a story from beginning to end.
Even if you’ve written a book before.
And have a plot.
And character bios.
And spreadsheets with scene breakdowns.
Somehow when it’s NaNoWriMo it becomes another beast entirely.
November chez Devon sees six family birthdays and my wedding anniversary. Plus, it feels way, way too close to Christmas. If I’m going to spend an entire month hanging about in pj’s, making chocolate the only food group I recognise, and swapping all rational thought for book, book, book, then it’s going to shock the hell out of me to come out the other side and realise that it’s only four weeks to Christmas and I have done NOTHING to prepare for it.
This year though? This year it’s worked out that I’ve done more editing books than writing new ones and so I wanted to get to the end of the year having laid down a few more words. I wanted to have a dirty draft of my new WIP so that I could start 2016 in search of second-draft perfection.
Of course therein lies the rub—I’m not really a dirty draft kind of gal. I’m more of a pour over the words until I’m satisfied kind of gal.
Confession No.2: The single most important lesson I’ve learnt about writing is being able to adapt.
All creative work takes energy and time. Life doesn’t always leave you with either. But if you can adapt—if you can work in different ways, you might just discover that you can achieve what you wanted in less than perfect circumstances.
So this year I’m NaNoWriMo’ing in November! And I’m doing it my way! Sans strict word count because it’s a truth universally acknowledged amongst fellow NaNoWriMo-ers, that a writer in want of a 50k book, is usually in possession of a stinking cold when November 1st comes around.
Nevertheless, I’m going to try turning off my inner editor and get words down—ugly or not, in the right order or not. Because whatever I achieve come November 30th I can then develop. Because it’s okay if it’s not perfect first time. Because, as Nora Roberts says: You can’t edit a blank page.
So, end of week one NaNoWriMo and is my word count at 11,669? Hell to the No.
Do I care to the point where I’m going to throw my pages out the pram and give up? That would be a negative—at least as soon as I finish my tantrum it will be!
The real treasure of NaNoWriMo is the support from fellow writers and so I’m in for another three weeks of us all doing it in our own butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard ways.
Hmm…I see that this post is over five hundred words. I can totally count that towards my daily word-count, right???
Next week: Exactly how far behind I am and the inevitable mental battle that will ensue!
If you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, let me know how you’re getting on in the comments below :).