The month of November represents a lot of things. With Halloween officially past, everyone starts gearing up for the winter holidays. People begin making travel plans, decorating their homes, shopping for feasts and festivities. But it holds something else for writers.
If you’ve never spent a lot of time writing, you might not be familiar with National Novel Writing Month, or as many now call it, NaNoWriMo. It’s a pretty simple idea, really, a bunch of writers getting together to encourage each other as they try to write a novel in a single month. The traditional goal is 50,000 words in 30 days, which averages out to 1667 words a day, though ambitious writers can set themselves a higher word count goal.
Since 2004, the only year I participated, people always ask me at the beginning of November if I’m going to take part. Sometimes I consider it, sometimes I think it’d be great. But really, who has time to devote to hammering out fifty thousand words in a single month? Especially one as busy as November!
I didn’t complete the story I started back in 2004, by the way. It’s never bothered me – Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t. The week before last, I wrote over 8,000 words in two days and was disappointed that my writing time was interrupted by other responsibilities, because I could have done more. Since then, I’ve only managed snippets of 50-60 words here and there.
I don’t worry about it any more. I used to stress myself out over writing deadlines I’d foolishly set, knowing I couldn’t keep such a rigorous schedule amidst all the other things I do. Good things come to those who wait, and as I get older, I find I’m developing more patience to let those good things come in their own time.
So no, before anyone asks, I will not be participating in NaNoWriMo this year.
However, if I keep the pace I’ve been working at, I will finish writing my second novel this month. And that’s definitely something to be proud of.