NaNo, the big book writing challenge that’s a popular staple of November has never really been for me, even though I’m a writer for several reasons.
1) I want my books to be longer than the word count they provide.
2) Between my day job (or college when I was that age) and the holidays, November just isn’t a good month for me to take up one of those kinds of challenges.
3) My projects never seem to start at NaNo time. My current Western Steampunk started this month. I refuse to wait a whole month to start writing something I really want to write.
Now I know a lot of people really get into NaNo and it inspires a lot of people to get writing. Maybe I’m not the type of writer that Nano is targeted for, maybe I’m just contrary. I always figure if it works for you, go for it. If not, try something else.
Are you a NaNo person or not?
I’ve known about NaNo for years but never took part because November is a bad month, you have final exams for the year if you’re a student, a million end of year break up parties for hobbies etc, a million early Christmas parties because December is too full and I work retail so you have way more hours of work than usual. I first did NaNo when I was no longer a student. I hadn’t written much fiction for a few years and wanted to get back into it. Also I had a habit of starting stories and only getting 20K into them and spending FAR too much time playing with worldbuilding and character profiles etc. I pulled up the beginings of a plot I’d started working on andr-plotted the story, wrote up an outline etc and sat down. 90K later I’d learnt a LOT about writing a book, enough that I didn’t need to finish that one because at that point I’d just be finishing it for the sake of finishing it. I didn’t writ the 90K during Nano, I wrote about 53K. The extra I wrote after.
My second NaNo I decided to use to push out a story I really wanted to tell. This time I did a lot better with my outlining and so on and had everything all ready to go in scrivener a few days before NaNo started. The timing of NaNo lined up perfectly with when I was ready to start writing, so I wasn’t sitting around for months waiting to start work. That time I did 60K during NaNo and finished the story afterwards.
I started work on a second draft of that a while ago but it wasn’t ready. I’ve started the second draft again and now it is ready and I’m glad I waited. It’s also NaNo time again but this year it doesn’t line up with where I am in my writing so I won’t be taking part.
The thing with NaNo is it’s a useful tool to help you get out the first 50K of your draft. It’s great to have all that motivation and support. I also find a challenge means I’ll stick to my goals! It’s great for people that procrastinate and start a million things but never get very far into them. It also teaches you the value of sitting down and writing a set amount every day which is a great habit to get into for any writer. Your points two and three are great reasons why you shouldn’t do NaNo. The first reason– not so much because you don’t have to stop at 50K. Some people do write a whole novel during NaNo by writing twice as much per day. Others (like me) finish their novels after november which is fine too. I guess National write 50k month doesn’t have the same ring to it, lol
NaNo isn’t for everybody, not onlybecause we are all at different stages when it comes to writing but also because people just write differently. There are some professional writiers who write more than 1667 words per day. You have others that write far more slowly but still complete novels and stick to their goals. Also, I still think November is a stupid month for it, lol!
That was my NaNo issue too! When I was a student, it was a crazy time of the year. Work in education as my day job so that’s crazy too!
At this point I do about 1500 words or more per day. one a good day on the weekend when the toddler naps, I can get 2000 to 2500