Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

I'm doing it again: National Novel Writing Month. 30 days. 50,000 words. This is my twelfth year in a row of trying to write a novel. I've only come up short twice (although calling any of the 'successes' a novel is generous beyond words).

Why do I do it? Why do I get up early and try to stay up late, staring at my computer screen, pounding out my 1,667 words a day? Why do I go into panic mode during last few days, sometimes forcing my self to crank out up to 6,000 words in a day?


Because I love it. Because when I finally push aside the distractions and focus on the page and get into the flow, the characters speak to me. They tell me their story and I try to get it down as fast as I can. Some days they are quiet and I have to coax and cajole the stories out of them and only get a few hundred words. Other days I simply neglect them and feel rotten about it. But that's just too bad because I have a life, too. This isn't just about them.

I told myself that this year I would have an outline.

I don't.

I told myself that I would be ready.

I'm not.

I had to spend part of my writing time getting my tools ready: 
  • a brand new OneNote notebook to capture my words and my research and my notes. I love OneNote because I can access it from anywhere, keep everything in one spot and (most importantly) keep all my work automatically backed up.
  • copy notes from the first novel in this series to the new notebook so that I can keep them as consistent as possible.
  • connect my Surface 3 to the network at work so that it has all that latest stuff and I can work on my new novel just about anywhere.
  • update the NaNoWriMo site, all my social networking sites, and this blog, just in case someone besides my family and close friends is keeping tabs on my progress. I don't want it to look like I'm neglecting any channel.
As a result, I am about 300 words short of my goal. But my eyes are starting to slam shut. Time to get to bed so that I will get a few more minutes of sleep before my stupid author brain wakes me up at 0-dark-it's-way-too-early with ideas on how to change around all the words that I've already committed to bits today.

My plan, as usual, is to shoot for at least 1,000 words a day on work days and 3,500 words on each weekend day. That averages out to the 1,667 per day that gets me to 50,000 words by the end of the month. Of course, as usual, there are complications. I don't just mean Thanksgiving. I mean extra commitments on top of Thanksgiving that will make it nigh impossible to get much writing done for four or five days. So that word count has to get added into the other days of the month. And then there are those unforeseen unproductive days.


Why do I do this to myself?

Because I love it.

Words written today: 1,354
Monthly total: 1,354