I have intended to participate in the National Novel Writing Month since . . . 2006. (That’s a little odd to me, since I don’t consider myself active writing fiction in 2006, but I did intend to, and even tried, even though I didn’t find out until November was already underway.) NaNoWriMo is a fun method to
kill yourself go from nothing to half a novel (50,000 words) in 30 days.
And, like I’ve said above, I’ve intended to participate, but . . . for three years now, I never have, and this year will probably be the fourth.
The first year, I gave it a shot, but only came up with a couple thousand words. The next year, I’d just finished a 42,000-words-in-under-four-weeks reinitiation to writing fiction, and I was tired.
Last year, I saved a pretty good idea to do for NaNo. I had a chapter-by-chapter chart of post-it notes (which is still hanging in my room)—but by October, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. Then I had another idea and I just couldn’t wait. I started on October 21 (happy anniversary, book!). Eight weeks and >80,000 words later (I forget that first draft count), I was done.
The thing that gets me about NaNo? I’ve definitely written 50,000 words in 30 days or less, or even a calendar month. But you can’t be a NaNo “winner” unless you have absolutely not one single word in your novel (plotting aside) on 1 Nov and 50,000 words by midnight 30 Nov. The rules say that it’s not 50,000 more words than you had on 1 Nov—it’s 0-50,000 or nothing. And just forget about doing it any other time of year, okay?
Yeah, I understand about camaraderie and all that—but really, if we have to churn out a minimum of ~1700 words/day, 7 days a week, who has time for a lot of online socializing? (It takes me about 3 hours, on average, to get 1700 words a day, but I have a job and two kids. That’s all the free time I get.)
So this year, once again, I’m not participating. I just finished another billion word a day draft, and I’m tired. I’m recovering. I came extremely close to burnout with a 1700 words/day minimum for over a month, and I’m just not ready to go back there right now. You enjoy your NaNo; I’m going to go get reacquainted with these people living in my house, and attack the 18″ TBR pile.
What do you think? Will you NaNo? Why?