National Novel Writing Month
It’s that time of year again, when all over the world writers commit to the challenge of writing 50,000 words of fiction within thirty days. I used to participate in the now defunct sister event Script Frenzy (100 pages of screenplay in one month), and really had no intention of joining NaNoWriMo this year. I mean, I consider myself a short-story writer not a novelist. But hold the phone, it appears that the “rules” have changed a bit. A collection of short stories with a common thread can technically qualify as a novel. And I think that my collection has that potential, even if the stories are in the early drafts.
At the same time, I’m like “Who cares about the rules?” NaNoWriMo is an “on your honor” exercise, right? And, I have some very specific writing goals that I want to achieve this month, like complete the first drafts of stories that have been camping on my lawn for YEARS. And then there are the wholesale rewrites of other stories that are in first or second drafts, because I wrote them some time ago.
The point is November coincides with my return to work: as an author. It is the end of my 45-day rest period after Kiddo started kindergarten. Going into this job, I feel more grounded, confident and professional than I have EVER been going into work (except in the kitchen :).
So yesterday, I decided why not? Use NaNoWriMo as the structure to ramp back up to the professional pace of 1,600-2,000 words a day (not including this blog) that I kept as a proposal writer. Today, I banged out 1,837.
Also, I figure if I can stick to a writing schedule this November, then I can stick to anything. Currently on the calendar:
- No-School Days (Election and Veteran’s Days)
- Back-to-back family visits
- Kiddo’s birthday
- And now a Hawaiian Dance “recital” (whaaaaatttt??? Yes, I’m taking this class to relax; NO, I didn’t know there would be a recital when I signed up)
November’s calendar is chock full of sprints. It will test me: Will I advocate for writing time and fastidious self-care this month or will things go downhill fast?