It seems like such a cool challenge: write a novel of at least 50,000 words in a month. That’s almost 1700 words a day. Not bad if you’re Dean Wesley Smith, who routinely writes a bunch of words every day. But for me, it isn’t going to happen. I could probably knock out a short story or two, but no way am I going to get 50K words written in a month. Not the way I write.
I get a story idea, and I plow into it. I have a dozen stories started on my USB drive that I carry around between office and home, and some of them will never get finished because they won’t go anywhere. (And some just flow right out like they were telling themselves.) A lot of times I loose focus on a story, and don’t know where to go with it. So I do one of two things. I either go back to the beginning, rereading and rewriting as I go, or I move on to another story. Either way, I’m taking away from that 1700 word goal.
Then there’s my schedule. I simply don’t have the time to write every day. I’m not a morning person in general, and I certainly don’t have enough focus to get up early and write. I wouldn’t, even if I didn’t have kids going off to school. (Not that I’m doing much besides offering support services; my wife does the heavy lifting with the morning rituals for them.) I tend to write best in the later afternoon and evening. I don’t know why; that’s when the words will flow. And so I don’t get to do too much with that, either.
So Nanowrimo is not a realistic goal when you work full-time and have family obligations. Especially if you’re a pantser, like I am, and not a plotter. When I don’t know what I’m going to write, I probably won’t write much. If I know where I’m going, I can crank out the words, but those days are not that common.
Anyway, good luck to those of you actually doing it. Hope to read a novel or two from the project.