It’s that time again! The wondrous time of year when writers all over the country go completely batshit for the entire month of November, all joined together in their mad dash of a marathon toward 50,000 words by the 30th.
Yes, I said it.
Fifty. Thousand. Words. In. A. Month.
That sound like fun to you? Well then, check out National Novel Writing Month at www.nanowrimo.org for more details and to sign up – you’ve still got time. I know people who’ve decided to join half way into the month and STILL managed to reach the word count goal.
And before there’s any confusion, it really is a word count goal instead of writing a full novel, despite what the name of the challenge is. Unless you’re writing middle grade, 50k rarely a full novel makes. But it is an amazing way to shove yourself out of your comfort zone of “Oh I guess I’ll write something tomorrow or next month maybe possibly?” and make you dive into a solid month of words on the page. It’s glorious and terrifying all at once.
(No really – most writers lose our minds a bit. You should listen to last week’s #MimosaThursday podcast about preparing for the NaNo insanity if you don’t believe me. I’ve got no shame. LOL https://soundcloud.com/mimosathursday/034-nano-prep if you’re interested in giving the podcast a listen!)
But enough about what NaNo is in general – what’s the point for me? Mostly, I love having that incredible community to lean on during the month. This year especially is going to be a hard one to NaNo through due to the insane revision/write-five-new-chapters-in-two-months game that was Pitch Wars (Agent Round is tomorrow OH GOD HOLD ME). I honestly doubt I’m going to hit 50k to be honest, and I already know I’m going to be one hell of a NaNo rebel about what counts toward that word count, too.
So what am I going to work on? I’ve decided to give myself free rein to work on a few different projects.
For one, I really need to get some more blog posts/book reviews written up. I was slacking a bit for a while there, and I’m almost out of ready-written posts. I really like having the backlog so I’m not in a panic when Sunday rolls around and I need to figure out something to throw up on the blog on Monday. I definitely want to keep active on this blog, and getting ahead of schedule seems to be the only way for me to do it.
Also, I want to try to write at least one to two short stories, one for a specific anthology I really would love to be a part of and another to sub to various sci-fi/fantasy mags. I really want to start having a semi-steady income coming in from my writing, and while on the agent hunt, short stories can be a way to do that. The process can be longer for mags in that most of them don’t want exclusive subs or reprints, so I’ve got to sub to each mag individually. I only have a single short story in rotation right now, but if I can get more stories submission ready that will help get me going I think.
Next, I am ABSOLUTELY going to be writing some fanfiction. This is the time of year for the massive (several thousand sign-ups) fanfic exchange called Yuletide, and this will be my third year participating. My assignment will only require 1,000 words, but I almost never stick to that, and I love picking additional people to give mini-fic treats to, as well. So fics will definitely be at least some of my words.
Finally, I do have a novel I want to work on (though it technically was already started over the summer before Pitch Wars hit – shh don’t tell!). I’ve got about 11k on it, and my original goal for the year (again before Pitch Wars) was to have a full 70ishk first draft by the end of the year. That is looking somewhat less likely, but if I can get a good chunk done during NaNo, that will push me that much closer to my goal of a full draft. We’ll see how it goes – I’m doing a YA magical realism which is a completely new genre for me, but I’m really enjoying it so far. More words can only be a good thing right?
But yeah, those are the goals I’m aiming for, and I think I can accomplish all of them if I buckle down.
As of yesterday (November 1st), I already have 3150 words, so I think I’m off to a good start.
What about all of you? Did you join in on the insanity or decide to pass? If you did join, how’s your word count & what project are you working on? I’m HiddenCaitastrophe if you want to add me as a buddy – like I said, the community is the best part!
Shoot me a tweet @C_L_McCollum and let me know!