Friday, November 02, 2018

7 Things: It's NaNoWriMo Time Again

1. I hear two kinds of reasons for not participating in NaNoWrimo each year.  And hey, it is not for everybody.  November is not the best month for everyone.  (Camp in April and July, mark your calendar.)  But it might work for you if you need an external deadline.   Is it a real deadline?  Well, I think real is in the eye of the beholder. But I set deadlines for myself all the time that I ignore.  The NaNo train chugs on even when I have a really good reason for not writing.
2. Time.  The reality about time is, you will either make time or you won't.  I don't mean that in an evil, if you couldn't do it you must not care shame monster kind of way.  But we all have tons of things we could be doing every minute of every day.  
3. The other big thing I hear, is I am a real writer and I do not need a special month to make me write.  Again, real is in the eye of the beholder.  But cool.  But, just as I hear runner people who run all the time sometimes do these things, what are they called marathons, the idea is not that you couldn't wake up any day you felt like it and run however many miles, you can.  You maybe do.  But sometimes it's fun to do it with people who get it when you say, okay my characters turn out to be terribly emotionally stunted and why did no one warn me about this?  
4. NaNo encourages writing every day and not editing.  But the important part is to go. As with everything in writing, there are many roads towards a finished piece.  If not editing is making you crazy, then edit.  But really figure out if that's actually what's making you crazy or if it's easier to fix things than write new ones. 
5. Write every day.  Or don't.  Write first thing in the morning.  Or don't.  Write at lunch, in the coffee shop, on metro, on paper.  Try all the things.  Maybe not all the once.  
6. You will get stuck.  Your characters or your plot will get jammed up.  And the important thing is knowing that that happens and knowing you can fix it.  Maybe not today.  Maybe today is just a loss.  But figuring out as a writer not just how to get started, but how to keep going, how to pick up after that thing happened that FUBARed your day, that's also important. 
7. 50000 words is an arbitrary number.  It is.  So you need to figure out if that's enough to get you going, or if you need more or less, or if writing the end somewhere in there even if that means sticking in brackets that say [insert scene where they discover the dragon and team up with it] before you tack on the end. NaNo is a crazy breakneck pace.  December may not only not allow you to maintain it, but all the friends and family you waved off in November may demand to see you.  Oh, your day job too.  That thing.  So figure out how to use your momentum now to get you ready for when that time is that you can get back to this story.  Even if it's next November.