I just realized today that despite my good intentions, I have only one month (and a few days) to finish up last year’s unfinished NaNoWriMo novel and come up with an idea and / or outline for this year. This has me panicking a little, and re-evaluating my plans for the next two months! 🙂
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month – and is an event that takes place each November. The goal is to write an entire novel, 50,000 words or more, in one month. Not a finished product, of course, but a rough draft you can spend the next 11 months editing, re-writing, and polishing until it is a passable novel. I’ve tried twice – 18,000 words the first time, and almost 30,000 the second time, but haven’t reached the 50,000-words-in-one-month goal yet.
The first year I joined I had no plan, no outline, and not much of an idea before I sat down to write on November 1st. I have to admit, it was a bit of a mess, and once I got going I had no idea what to do with it.
Last year I was a little more prepared. I had no formal outline, but I did have an idea and I’d spent a lot of time thinking about it before November. I got started easily enough, but had trouble figuring out how to get the story to go where I wanted it to go. I’ve been meaning to finish it since last December, but have only added a few additional paragraphs.
Now November is fast approaching, and I have to decide whether to try again, or work on what I already have started. Part of me says forget it. I always go out of town the last week in November so that really cuts my writing time down to about 3 weeks anyway. Another part of me says go for it! If I outline now I might actually be able to finish this year and although I don’t exactly know why, finishing NaNoWriMo seems like a big deal to me. 🙂
All self-doubt aside, I will probably join in again. There’s something appealing to me about writing alongside strangers and friends from all over the globe, comparing our daily word count, and updating our daily goals. At least for a few weeks I find that motivating!
If anyone else is participating, I’d love to have you add me a writing buddy – my user name is ekehlet.