Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Sunday, November 4, 2007

NaNoWriMo or Not

It's that time of the year again. NaNoWriMo started last Thursday. If you're not familiar with Nano (for short), it stands for National Novel Writing Month. (I assume a strictly U.S. thing, but if you're one of my friends from another country, feel free to chime in if I'm mistaken.) During the month of November, the idea is to write a 50K word novel. And yes, we all know novels are supposed to be longer than that, but the idea is to get at least that much done, and if you finish the first draft of a book, more power to you. (I'm sure there are websites devoted to this whole thing, but I've never been to one. Google should be able to help you there.)

Anyway, I have never participated in Nano. It always seems to fall when I'm in the middle of some other project. The idea isn't to write 50K on an old project, so I don't bother jumping into the fray. Having said this, though, it occurs to me that Nano or Not, I did complete their specifications. I wrote 50K words to a novel within a month. In fact, since I started R2L on October 9th, I'm a bit ahead of the game. You see, I hit 50K tonight.

Don't feel bad. I never crank out this many words this fast. For me, this is a total abberation. Usually, I average 750 words a night before my brain goes kaput. This sucker is just falling out of my head and onto the page right now. I wish all my stories came out so easily, but no such luck.

Anyhoo, to those of you participating in Nano this year, I wish you success. (Because luck has nothing to do with this part of writing.) And for those of you who aren't, why not join me in a little bit of friendly nudging. For the next thirty days, write 750 words a day. That's roughly three pages worth. Don't worry if some days you can't make the 750. As long as you have your butt in your chair and your hands on some writing implement, the words will come. Some days you may hit 1500, and in the end, they'll all average out.

Remember for this little gambit, the honor system works and the only person who is responsible for your words (or lack thereof) is you. I'm not going to smack you with a stick if you miss, but you may feel free to kick your own butt.

So? Are you game?

(And if you currently have no way of keeping track, let me know. I'll be happy to help you build a quick spreadsheet, and put up a word meter. Just one of the services I can provide to my writing friends. Ya know?)

Now, having only put up 1100 words today (and a weekend day at that... I'm so ashamed... :kicks own butt:), I'm headed off for slumberland.

Good night Mr. and Mrs. Writer and all the 'puters at sea.


Fiona said...

50K is such a short space of time - that's amazing. Well done you!

Kristen Painter said...

I can't work under that kind of pressure. Just the thought of it makes me nuts.

A friend of mine just wrote 20k+ in 10 days. She scares me.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Thanks, Fiona. It amazed me, too.

I don't want to make you nuts, Kristen. I don't work well under pressure either. The one time I tried to force myself to write a lot on this book, I froze up. I was trying to start a trend for people who need a little extra push. =o)

Anonymous said...


I'll be happy to join in on the fun (cough, cough,cough)

I can always use a good push...lol

How are we gonna do this? Announce our daily word count over here?


B.E. Sanderson said...

Hey Theresa. Jump on in. If you have a blog, track your progress there. Feel free to jump here in once in a while with an update, and I'll shoot over and check your blog from time to time. If no blog, then just commit to writing every day. I work on the honor system. As long as you say you're working every day, then you are. And if you aren't... then you will feel the deep and overwhelming guilt weighing on you like a sack of wet oatmeal (with raisins) and seeping through your every pore until you can't stand yourself. ;o)

At least I know that's how I feel when I say I'm going to do something and then don't, so I'm hoping it works for other people, too. Guilt... Lots and lots of guilt.

Anonymous said...

Alrighty then,

Sounds like a plan.

I'm committing to at least 1000 words/ two hours every day. Which boils down to I have to write for two hours everyday-- but if in that two hours I haven't reached a 1000 words (I usually do at least double that) then I have to keep writing until I reach that goal. I'm also going to do something a bit different for myself, and make a game out of how many days in a row I can go on this schedule. My biggest downfall has always been just taking a day off any old time I feel like it.

I don't have a personal blog. I am on a blog with four other paranormal writers, but we really don't post about our progress.

I've been thinking about starting up a personal blog, though--so I can bitch about anything that occurs to me. (grin) I think I'll look into doing that this weekend and start posting my progress over there too.

But either/or, I'll be stopping by here anyway.