If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Modified NaNo

No, I haven't overhauled a new IPod. That would render it inoperable.

For those of you who haven't heard, November is National Novel Writing Month, commonly referred to in the writing community as NaNoWriMo (or NaNo). The idea is that you write a 50,000 word novel, start to finish, in one month. It's not as hard as it sounds. It shakes out to a little under 1,700 words a day for thirty days. There is a website to track your word count publicly for all the world to see. It's actually quite fun. Upon completion the 'winners' receive an e-mail certificate which can be printed, framed, and displayed. They have a little store to raise money for maintenance of the site, and they typically have some sort of community service project. Last year, I think they sent money to build libraries in South America.

In any case, I have done NaNo for the last three years. Since my birthday is in the middle of the month, and Thanksgiving is at the end, the goal is to get a few days of words ahead so I can have a couple days off. So far I haven't had to delegate cooking the turkey because I'm behind on word count.

This year, I'm reconsidering. It's been a bad writing year, and there hasn't been just one mitigating factor. I haven't moved this year, but we did have an especially busy summer, we have travelled more, and school is more demanding this year. We've been working on the house, I've been learning to sew and garden, the music groups I'm involved with at church have been more active. It's all been fun, and it's all cut into my writing time. I'm sorry to say that some weeks the only writing I've done is blogging.

I had a brief conversation with Jean on one of the Forward Motion boards this week. She's had a tough writing year, too, and was trying to decide whether to participate this year. I suggested, and have decided to do, a modified NaNo this year. Instead of writing 50,000 words, I'm going to write at least 50 hours. That's practically no time at all; some pro writers write 50 hours a week. However, I'm not a pro yet, and I do have other obligations in my life. I have to start somewhere. Also, I can't confine myself to one project this year. I have the on-going saga with Scott, the novelette with my writing class, and a couple other irons in the fire. Multiple projects alone preclude NaNo.

So that's the goal: 50 hours minimum in November. Maybe I'll see if I can find one of those cute little counter/meter thingies to put in my sidebar.



Blogger Jean said...

I'll be right here cheering you on. And I think I'll focus on getting my words done in less time rather than more. 'Cause, you know, after I retire, I'll have other priorities along the lines of what you describe in this post (it's called life).

7:53 PM  

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