Today is November 1, so that means that NaNoWriMo begins. The goal is to write 50,000 words of new material in the 30 days of November. That breaks down to 1,667 words per day. The trick is keeping up the pace over weekends, holidays, and other everyday distractions. It’s a month-long writing marathon, and November will give you plenty of reasons to avoid writing.
And so there are tons of people out there to give you advice, like author Jim C. Hines, author Rachel Aaron, and Galleycat. And if you click on that NaNoWriMo link above, you can register and join the forums to talk to people going through the highs and lows of the NaNoWriMo process.
The question everyone asks though, is “Are you doing it this year?” Normally, I say no. But this year, I say yes and no. I know, I suck. Yes, I will write 50,000 words during November. No, the writing will not be towards a completely new work. I’ve already started a novel, and I will continue writing that one. That is my priority. However, if I come up with an idea for a short story or something else, I will count that towards my daily word count. Blog posts, however, do not count. I will be counting only writing that could possibly result in me getting paid to publish it. If someone wants to pay me to blog, I’ll reconsider that rule. And yes, I’ll tweet my daily word counts to stay accountable. You can follow me at @erchristensen
So, for everyone doing NaNoWriMo, good luck. Keep up your pace. Try to write over 2,000 words a day if you can to give yourself a buffer. Check out my earlier posts about increasing your word count for some great tips (Click on the Rachel Aaron tag. You’ll see them). And most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Give yourself permission to write a zero draft. Be wild, daring, and carefree with your writing. No one finishes NaNoWriMo with a draft ready to submit. Editing comes later. For now, write. Every day. That’s the real lesson of NaNoWriMo: make time for your writing, and write every day.
P.S., for the men out there, November isn’t only about NaNoWriMo. It’s also time for Movember, a time when men grow moustaches to educate and raise money for treatment of prostate and testicular cancer. Give some thought to signing up, if you can.