Call me Scrooge if you want.
November is the month writers come out of the woodwork, participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to the uninitiated). It is a great time of fellowship with fellow writers, all encouraging one another to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. There are groups that meet all over the country and internationally. It is a big deal in the writing community.
And I’ve learned I need to sit it out.
I’m not saying NaNo is bad at all. It can help people who have always wanted to attempt a novel to take the plunge and start writing knowing they have company. Experienced writers can use it as a jumpstart to a new project. Technically, it is supposed to be a new project and not a previous work, but I know many people use it as a time to get more writing done.
I’ve found it doesn’t work for me.
I’ve tried it twice now. One time I participated in a group and made some friends there that I still keep up with on Facebook. It just doesn’t help me in my writing. Both times, I’ve plowed ahead trying to keep to the 1667 daily word pace required to finish in thirty days. Both times, it drove me into a wall with my writing that took me a couple of months to get around.
I don’t know why it makes me crash. I’ve realized that forcing it won’t work for me. I was even tempted to try it again this year, but a good article by my friend Becky Miller
helped me identify my problem during NaNo:
…the pace doesn’t allow the new writer to collect himself when the story bogs down, to learn what might be the problem, and to discover how to get out of it.
I will be trying hard in November to keep BIC (butt in chair) and press ahead with my story, especially since I’m in a good place with my plot. I’ll be cheering on all my writing buddies doing NaNo as well. I just won’t be going for the 50,000 goal with you, but best of luck to you!
Have you done NaNo before? If so, how did you do? Please share!