|Photo courtesy of LMRitchie, WANA Commons|
To honor their hard work, I'm sharing a guest post from author Amy Evans. She discusses the often difficult decision to jump into the National Novel Writing Month challenge, and (I think) nicely encapsulates why the month is special.
To NaNo or not to NaNo….by Amy Evans
In case you live under a rock, or have been knocked out of electronic commission by Superstorm Sandy like yours truly, you probably already know that Nov. 1st is the kick off for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo.) The community driven event challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel in thirty days; offering support, daily goals, and organization tips. While many have been planning for NaNo for weeks, months, or even all year, I have personally been going back and forth all week on what to do in November this year.
NaNo holds a special place in my heart because two years ago I used it to get back to writing fiction after a five year hiatus. As a new mom, I’d found it almost impossible to find the time to write, and when I did the pressure to produce something fabulous prevented me from putting anything down on paper. Enter NaNo. Admittedly, I “pantsed” it, planning very little and writing whatever came to mind within a large story context and the recommended daily word count. And it worked.
While I didn’t make the word count that month, I did write 35,000 words of a new novel, which was 34,000 more words than I’d completed on any fiction project in five years. In 2011, I used NaNo to finish the first draft of the novel I’m completing now. It took me five months to write the first 20,000 words, and then two months to complete the next 60,000 thanks to the pace I managed to maintain even after NaNo ended.
Which brings me to this year. Originally, I’d planned to write book two in my current series. But then I hired an amazing editor who was worth waiting for, and I just got notes back today. It is not the right time for me to start something new but I don’t want to give up on participating in NaNo.
So my adapted goal this November is to use the energy and the drive that NaNo has brought into my life for this edit. I have thirty pages of notes to address, and 80,000 words. I’m counting on NaNo to cancel that voice inside my head that ordinarily questions if my work is good enough. Because what I’ve learned previously is that if I can stick to the NaNo schedule, everyday the work amazingly gets better.
Thanks again to Amy for sharing her process! Be sure to 'click' her name above and give her a follow on Twitter (if you do such things). She's a very insightful and fun follow.
So where do you stand on NaNoWriMo? Did you take up the challenge this year? If so, are you finished? What did it mean for you? If you didn't take part, would you ever consider it?
For those in the thick of it, still 2 days left to meet your writing goals, and I'm cheering you on!