Like a lot of other people, I started NaNoWriMo yesterday. I’m working on a short, hopefully-fun novel that isn’t currently under contract. If I crash and burn, I’m only out a month’s work. But I have high hopes, which should last for a few more days, at which point I traditionally get that sinking “what the heck am I doing this book sucks everything is darkness and despair” feeling. Ah, writing. Gotta love it.
But so far, so good. I’ve got two chapters done, and some fun bits coming in the next chapter. I’ve also noticed a few things about NaNo and myself.
- I do better with a wordcount goal and some kind of accountability. Knowing I need to hit at least 1666 words a day, and that my updates will be publicly available on the NaNoWriMo website? That helps motivate me.
- It might not motivate you, and that’s okay. Everyone’s writing process is different. If something helps, use it! If not, get rid of it and find something else. NaNo doesn’t work for everyone.
- I still compare my progress to other people’s, and that’s bad. Having a lower wordcount than someone else doesn’t mean I’m losing. It doesn’t mean I suck as a writer. It means that person wrote more words than I did. So what? I need to focus on being happy with my own progress. If I like the words I’m producing, then I’m #Winning. Period.
- Real Life is obnoxious. Even working from home, there are phone calls, vacuum repair salesmen (seriously!), grocery shopping, and other distractions. I know about some of these ahead of time. Nothing to do but plan the best I can, and roll with the hits when I can’t.
- There’s no One Right Way to do NaNoWriMo. I’m doubtful I’ll make it to the regional gatherings, or that I’ll spend much time in the forums, and that’s okay. I’ve already got a support network of writers I can talk to if I need. (Although it might be fun to get out of the house…) Anyway, the point is, NaNo has grown an awful lot over the past decade and a half. There are a ton of tools and resources out there. Use what works, disregard the rest, and write on.
- More fiction may mean less blogging. If I’m pushing myself harder to hit daily wordcount goals, I may have a harder time keeping up with the blog. But we’ll see.
I hope those of you who are participating are having fun, and those who aren’t … well, I hope you’re having fun too!
November 2, 2015 @ 5:13 pm
i don’t care if you’re ahead or behind, but I like the fact that you’re keeping me going. It makes me feel like I’m marginally less alone.
Jim C. Hines
November 2, 2015 @ 5:33 pm
Go, you! 🙂
November 2, 2015 @ 5:38 pm
November 2, 2015 @ 8:25 pm
I made 1667 yesterday and have ALREADY hit the self-doubt phase.
This is alarming…
Jim C. Hines
November 2, 2015 @ 10:04 pm
Maybe you’re just getting it over with early, and the rest of the month can be pure awesomeness?
November 3, 2015 @ 2:07 am
For anyone feeling doubt in the first few days, don’t worry about a slow start. My first few days are often a little light and it takes me until about the 5th to really get in the groove. I’m being a little ambitious this year with the project so I’ll be happy if I get close.
November 3, 2015 @ 3:49 pm
I’m having fun with it so far. It doesn’t even bother me that the writing is stiff, the characters cardboard, and the plot non-existent. I figure it’s just like any skill I haven’t practiced for a long while—it’s going to take a while to get back into it. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself in these early days. If at the end, it’s still awful—well, nobody has to read it but me!)
November 5, 2015 @ 8:22 pm
I profoundly hope you are correct.
But, on the plus side, I have made my word count daily thus far. Which doesn’t sound like much until I confess that I usually end up making excuses for why I haven’t written starting around Day Two.