Guess what? November is almost here. You know what that means. Aside from an ill-advised a proliferation of creepy mustaches, I mean. Seriously guys….ew. A mustache without a beard just screams “I’m a pedophile who traveled here from the 1980s.” Unless you’re Tom Selleck. He might just be the only man on the plant who looks more like a pedophile without a mustache than with one. Not that I’m saying we should start profiling sexual predators based on their facial hair…mustaches are just creepy and it annoys me a bit that they get to share a month with the bit of insanity I’m actually excited about: NaNoWriMo.
That’s right. National Novel Writing Month. I skipped it last year, but this year I’m back, and I have goals, baby!
The first year I participated in NaNoWriMo was awesome. I won. I wrote a book. A book that is still haunting my pile of things to finish editing, granted, but it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A conflict, complicating events, and a resolution. The main character grows and changes from word alpha to word omega. It’s not a particularly good book, no genre-redefining behemoth of immensitude, but I learned a lot about storytelling in the process of making it and I don’t completely hate it.
Year two was a bit of a drag. I did not win. I was working on the sequel to book one, and let me tell you something about sequels: you have to know how the first book ends to write them. I hadn’t really finished with Autumn’s Daughter and as I was trying to write the sequel, I realized that the ending of the first book did not work. It completely killed my momentum on Autumn’s Sister and I still haven’t regained my footing there, which is more or less why I skipped last year.
This year, however, I have a story I love the hell out of. It’s probably rubbish from beginning to end, but it’s my kind of rubbish and it is unspoiled by uncertainty about my previous work. I have an outline and a cast of characters. And, as I said, I have goals.
Hitting a specific word count during one month has, to me, become equivalent to trying to fit into a bikini before summer. It’s completely possible, but if it requires me to make drastic life changes that are too far removed from my current life habits, I will not continue with the actions that led to change once my goal has been met. So…instead of trying to meet a specific word count, these are my personal victory conditions for NaNoWriMo 2013:
1. Get up with my alarm.
Even on weekends. Getting up at 6:00 am is my best chance for getting some writing done before I have to interact with John, before I start my busy list for the day, and before I wear my brain out writing copy for other people.
2. Work on my writing every day.
Seven days a week, folks. Something valuable to the progress of my current projects needs to be done.
3. Add words to my novel 5 days a week.
The plan is that most days I need to be writing actual story stuff in my book file and on those days I’m not allowed to waste my precious writing time doodling around the internet doing research or writing for the blog. I will set aside two (probably non-consecutive) days each week to do things like editing, connecting with other writers, researching agents, and learning more about self-publishing. So unlike other years, there’s a chance that this NaNoWriMo will actually see me adding more to my blog than I have been lately. Exciting stuff, right?
As always, I’m happy to connect with anyone else who’s playing along. My username is MWalshe. Come be my friend and let’s meet our creative goals together!