It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo! But…

2 Oct

I am in love with NaNoWriMo. No, really. After discovering it nine (what!) years ago, I’ve avidly participated every November, along with several Camps and other “unofficial” NaNoWriMos, too. For me, November is a great time to kickstart that writing habit again if, like me, you failed in your New Year’s resolution to Write Every Day. (Yeah, that didn’t happen.)

So you might be surprised to learn that I’m considering not doing NaNo this year. At least not proper NaNo.

For me, NaNo was always about reaching that 50,000 word goal. I know that’s the point, but I was never able to push past it to actually finish a novel. The only time I really finished a novel was for my Senior Thesis when it was for a grade, and without the threat of that hanging over my head, I’m worried I might not be able to finish something ever again.

Okay, not really. But I’m getting frustrated with my lack of writing and I know that if I were to get into the habit of writing every day again, I might actually be able to accomplish something.

The problem with NaNo is that NaNo ends. I’ll write 50,000 words and probably won’t look at the story again because I’ll be so sick of it. For me, 50,000 words is never enough to tell the whole story. Then again, I try to push past it and end up with 135,000–that’s not good either.

So here’s my plan. I’m going to set myself an end-goal word count of around 85,000. That’s at the long end of the “average” count for a first-time YA author. I’m going to give myself three months to complete this goal. At the end, I need to have a completed first draft of a manuscript.

There are 92 days between November 1 and January 31. That means the word count averages out to around 925 words per day–more manageable if, like me, you’re expending creative energy throughout the day by writing for work and just want a brain break at the end of the day. A slower, steadier count will hopefully lead to a more coherent, less rambling story as well. That’s the goal, anyway.

I feel a bit weird even considering not doing proper-NaNo. Doing this, I’ll only have around 30,000 words at the end of the month. But I think I need to switch it up and try. My only worry is that I’ll fizzle out by the time December rolls around and won’t have much to show for it!

If anyone’s interested in doing this with me, I’d love to hear from you. Part of the appeal of NaNo is, of course, that thousands of other people are writing with you. If that energy continues into December and January, I know I’ll be able to push through. What could we call ourselves? National Novel Finishing Quarter? NaNoFiQu–eek, maybe not!

Are you participating in NaNo this year? Or do you have something else in mind? What are your writing goals, and how are you going about accomplishing them? I’d love to hear your stories!


3 Responses to “It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo! But…”

  1. Creative Mysteries October 2, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Sounds like you have a great plan! I agree, 50000 words isn’t really enough to tell a story. I know I’m doing NaNo this year but I’m just not sure how. I’d rather not start another project until I’m finished the one I started.

    If I do decide to participate, then I might adapt to a method similar to yours. 🙂

    • inkhearted October 3, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      I know! People keep saying “60,000-80,000” for YA and I just can’t even imagine what 60k looks like. I’m attracted to longer books, though, so I suppose it’s only natural that I should want to write one. 😉

      Would love to hear about your writing plan as it develops!


  1. Introduce Your NaNoWriMo Novel! (aka, how prepared are you?) | More Than One Page - October 30, 2013

    […] As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m planning on doing an extended NaNo-like marathon that covers 85,000 words and 3 months. So perhaps the pressure isn’t on so much. And yet I can’t help but feel that pull, that irresistible tug that tells me I need to complete 50,000 words in November. The pressure of so many completed NaNos is on, and there’s this whisper in my ear that says, “It’ll make December and January easy–15,000 a month is nothing!” […]

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