Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Unnofficial NaNoWriMo

November is well known in the writer community to be the NaNoWriMo month (the National Novel Writing Month). It is a time for writers, novice and experienced, to push themselves forward and try to write a first draft of a novel in a month. Or, as the creators of NaNoWriMo say, it's "30 days and nights of literary abandon."

This is a great way for writers to unite in the common goal of producing words and to feel they have a mission to accomplish. I love the idea of it!

I have never done NaNoWriMo officially myself, for various reason. November is often a hard month to dedicate completely to this pursuit. Last year, I did a blog a day when I signed up for NaBloPoMo. I was excited when I was able to accomplish that goal and it had me writing a least something every day.

However, this is not enough anymore to keep me going, to keep me writing. This year has been a bit tough, as a lot has been going on and I was not always able to dedicate the time to writing as much as I wanted to. This stuff also often sapped my energy, which in turn sapped my inspiration, creativity and motivation. And I hated the feeling.

Lately, I seem to have gotten that inspiration and motivation back, and have been actively pursuing creative efforts. So when November rolled around, I decided I need to use it to push forward, to get the momentum and keep it going.

So while I did not sign up for the official NaNoWriMo, I decided to do an unofficial one. I told my husband, so he could keep me accountable and put pressure on me if I slacked off. My goals are not necessarily to finish a first draft of a novel in a month, but to write as much as I can during the month and see how far I get. Instead of word count goals, I'm making daily time goals that I have to keep or raise up. I'm also occasionally doing Word Wars with writers on Twitter (#wordwar), and other times plant myself at my desk and make myself just write without over-analyzing or editing of any kind for a period of time.

And I finally feel happier about where my writing is. With a short story that is going to be published in an anthology, coming soon, and two novel projects (one with my writing partner and one individual), things are looking up.

Those of you who are no participating in NaNoWriMo, keep in mind that you can still benefit and be inspired by the resources at NaNoWriMo. Check out their articles, follow them on Twitter (@NaNoWriMo) and connect with people who are participating to see what they're doing and how.

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