It’s October first. Well, it might not be when you read this only because I’m a bit behind
with my whole life writing this post.
Anyway, so when you think of October, you think Pumpkin Spice Lattes, fall leaves, bonfires, hoodies. Halloween.
Oh, wait. We’re writers. October doesn’t mean any of those things, right?
What does it mean then?
NaNoWriMo Prep Month!
If you participate in NaNoWriMo, you are thinking about writing your 50,000 words in November.
Ideally, when you decide to participate, you’re supposed to take October and plan out your novel, right? Character arcs, plot. Anything you need to do to make writing your novel smoother, faster, better.
How many words a day to write 50,000 words in a month? 1,666. That’s not too bad.
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I hate NaNoWriMo.
I tried it once, I even “won,” and I never want to play again.
I get that some people need the boost the competition provides. The camaraderie. A goal to work toward. The accountability.
But you know what? Let’s do a list. I feel like a list. I feel like coffee too, but let’s do a list first.
- I don’t need a contest to force myself to write. I think I write about this a little bit every now and then. I love to write. I love it. I love watching the words pile up, I love reading it over, editing, okay, I don’t love the editing part. But I love writing the blurb, formatting, making the cover. Releasing the book. I love the whole freaking entire process, and I don’t need to participate in a contest to make progress.
- I have a publishing schedule that doesn’t include NaNo. The year I played I set aside a book–I was almost done with it; I had only 20,000 words left to finish it. Hey, guess what. It’s still not done, and that was two years ago. It’s not a good idea to put aside work to play. When will you ever get back to it? Right. If you’re like a lot of indies, it will end up in your pile full of half-finished projects. And maybe that’s where your NaNo will end up too once you realize . . .
- . . . you’re in for a hella lot of editing. So, I get preachy, I probably too preachy for my own good considering my sales kinda suck. But let me tell you something, one day you’ll appreciate quality over quantity. Wouldn’t you rather have 30,000 amazing words than 50,000 so-so words by the end of the month? I would rather have 30,000 shiny pretty words that I know won’t need much work over any number of words that, in the end, just don’t make much sense.
- I get enough community from Twitter and my various FB groups to need NaNo. I could see maybe if you wanted to use the community as support if NaNo was all there was. But it’s not. There’re a ton of people on Twitter who will give you support, accountability. Tweet your daily word count, and trust me, there will be a few people who will congratulate you, no matter how many followers you have. There are a ton of FB writing groups. Heck, you can even start your own. How about support for the whole year, not just in November. That sounds pretty cool, too. Oh, and if you’re slow and you only do 5,000 words in November instead of 50,000, follow #turtlewriters on Twitter.
- There is too much going on in November to add this contest to it, too. Why in the heck did the creators of NaNo choose November? Out all the boring old months to choose from (May, anyone) why November? Thanksgiving, my birthday, my daughter’s birthday, Black Friday, Christmas shopping, blizzards. Besides December, this is probably the worst month in the whole year for me.
I probably have more, but this is all I can think of right now. My main concern whenever someone says they need NaNo to write is that you shouldn’t “need” anything to write. You shouldn’t need anything but your determination to see your goals through and a passion so strong that it hurts if you don’t write.
Start your NaNo project today. How much can you do by the end of the November without needing to rush so much?
Do you like NaNo? Let me know!