It’s coming up to the time of year again for NaNoWriMo, or the National Novel Writing Month. Where many writers attempt to write a 50,000 word new piece of fiction in a month. That’s an average of 1,667 words a day for the whole of November.
I participated in CampNaNo in April last year, with some success. I didn’t make the 50k target, but that was because we had at holiday a the end of the month and I decided that I would rather spend time with my family than frantically push for an arbitrary number of words. I did write over 33k words that month, which is the highest number of words I’ve so far written in a month. The problem I found with it was that after the month I flagged and did very little. I am glad that I tried it, as it made me aware of how I work best.
Personally, I’m not sure this is a challenge that suits my way of working, as I’d rather do a steady amount over a longer period of time and build up to higher word counts that are sustainable for me. Also, November is a hectic time with birthdays, Sinterklaas and Christmas prep to do. So the timing is horrid as well.
Given that I have been struggling this year with moving house and medical issues I really don’t want the added stress of an artificial goal to make me feel bad that I’m not hitting it. I will continue to write my dragon shifter story, which I’m continuing to make progress on, but I’m not going to force myself to race for a word count that isn’t tied in with my goal setting.
My aim is to get one two hour writing session in a day, five days a week, with the goal for each of 2000 words. This doesn’t work out to be much below 50k in a month, but I’m more interested in forming the habits and making what I do sustainable for the long term. This also gives me flexibility to do all the other things related to having a business that aren’t writing, work round the house where needed, look after the children, and take some time for myself too.
All this to say I will not be taking part, but a big cheer for everyone who is!