First Impressions With NaNoWriMo

This year I made the decision to give NaNoWriMo a go with my WIP novel project. I knew going into the venture that this was a speculative effort, as I had never shown in the past that I was capable of anything like 1,667 words a day with the constraints of my daily life.

Well, that’s still the case. I think I could probably make the words, but with just the few days in so far, I can tell that everything else in my life would suffer to make it happen. I don’t want that. I am normally a stress-free individual, but actually felt a marked increase of stress just with the thought of that daily word count hanging over my head. I don’t see enough of an advantage to getting 50,000 words in one month to make that worthwhile.

Given this, I’ve decided to revise downward to a more realistic goal of 500 words per day on my novel. If I manage to keep up this minimal goal, I should finish the first draft of my novel in five or six months, which is an acceptable timeline for me. This will also give me flexibility to tackle side projects, like short stories, concurrently. I actually did that last night, as I was so frustrated that I was tired and not feeling well, and just couldn’t focus on my novel. I knocked out 90% of a short story for submission, and found the diversion immediately rewarding for my mental sanity.

I’m not saying I’ll never be able to handle 1,667 words a day. I expect that at some point in the future I will be able to do so easily, just not right now. And, when I can, I hope that it’s an every month affair and not an oddity.

On the plus side, I am over 7000 words into Project ANNIHILATION. Can’t complain about that.


2 thoughts on “First Impressions With NaNoWriMo

  1. I won NaNoWriMo last year, but was left with a manuscript that was by no means a first draft and no desire to write 1700 words a day on a single project going forward.

    The big benefit for me was seeing that I was dry of ideas a lot less often than usual if I needed to write something significant; I was still dry some days though, so I know that my technique needs some days off.

    • I don’t think I have a shortage of ideas. If nothing else, there is such a diversity of themed short story calls that I think I could write forever just working on submissions. I feel my novel is well plotted, and I think it will end up well constructed and interesting, so I don’t fear for ideas on that front either.

      One problem for me is that I’m by my nature a natural editor. I am always on the lookout for awkward phrasing and errors, even when reading casually, and I can’t seem to turn that off. That in itself makes everything a bit slower.

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