For the past two years in a row, I have envied all those writers who possess the dedication and mental stamina to successfully partake in November’s National Novel Writing Month, more affectionately referred to as NaNoWriMo. I’ve signed up for it in the past and inevitably fail, only managing to force out a few thousand miserable words.
This is the year! Granted, I will very likely not achieve the ultimate goal of writing 50k words in one month (I’d be lucky to write that in a year), but I plan on participating nonetheless, with my primary goal being to work on my novel every day and to get a good head start on my manuscript.
Write. Not work on. I have been outlining incessantly for months, constantly jotting down notes pertaining to character development, setting, plot and story lines, etc. I tell myself that all of this plotting and planning is absolutely necessary! And it is, to a certain extent. There is still that hurdle of pushing past that initial feeling of fear. Fear of starting something new and failing. Fear of wasting time if it doesn’t work out. Fear of embarking on a new journey into completely uncharted territory.
I have been incredibly productive with actual writing as of late. I am getting into the groove of regular writing vs outlining and the feelings of productivity and personal achievement is amazing. It is simply a matter of getting into a different kind of routine. Not blogging, not outlining, not journaling (though all important and valuable writing outlets), but sitting my ass down and writing a page, 500 words, a chapter, whatever the goal is for that day or period of time.
When I did the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I found that actually signing up for a writing challenge was beneficial for me in that it held me accountable. It wasn’t just myself and my notebook or computer that knew I had slacked off. There was a whole community of writers that were following my posts, as I was following their writing.
With NaNoWriMo, I’m hoping that even though I am highly doubtful that I will reach the ideal goal of hitting 50k words, the sense of accountability will be enough to keep me motivated to write daily. It worked for the A-Z Challenge! Having a group of writers to discuss our work and to motivate one another was one of the best things I got out of the blog challenge. I met so many phenomenal writers, poets, and bloggers and hope to get the same sense of belonging and camaraderie out of NaNoWriMo.
I have my outlines prepped and ready to go and will continue perfecting my writing road maps and writing chunks of my novel in the meantime. I have a weekend booked at a beach house belonging to a writers group I’m a part of to hole myself away for a full two days of productive novel writing. I plan on dedicating time every evening for scribbling away as well as a good portion of every weekend.
What about you, fellow novelists? Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? Were you successful? Did you set your own goals and participate in a “modified” version of NaNo? Are you planning to participate this year?
Happy NaNoWriMo prepping!!