So, it’s that time of year, it seems. National Novel Writers Month (#NaNoWriMo) is in full swing. I decided to participate this year, a first for me. As we are approaching the halfway point of the month, I approach the halfway point of my novel.
For those of you who are unaware, NaNoWriMo is when thousands of writers across the world attempt to write a draft of 50,000 words in one month. As my novels tend to run around 80k words, that is actually my goal. To do it I need to write an average of 2,600 words a day.
I’m on day 14 and just hit 36,000 words. My word average is hovering around 2,800 words, so doing just fine. It’s an interesting experience. I’m in competition with myself to write write write.
Sundays I’ve given myself a pass. If I write 3k words every day during the week, I can rest on Sunday. It’s worked out well for me so far. I find that 3k words tends to be about 2-3 hours of writing, which is certainly possible, though my reading has fallen to the side as I have less time for it.
Overall, I think the experience has taught me two things so far. First, I can really get words down on paper when I dedicate myself to it. Second, this is something I wouldn’t want to do every month. Writing twelve drafts in a year is doable, yes. But I’d have to toss aside social commitments, reading, me time. Also, a first draft is pretty much garbage anyways. Redrafting is as much a commitment as writing, more so in many ways as it takes longer and you have to constantly put aside a draft to wait for your brain to reset to see it with fresh eyes.
In the end, NaNoWriMo — cool. I’m happy I’m writing. I’m happy I have a goal. But next month, it’s time to hit that draft of book 2 and make it better. Beta readers are waiting, but they’ll have to wait a bit longer. I went through five drafts of book one before I decided that it was good enough for another person to look at it. I don’t see book two as being any different.