I’ve always been a bit of a rebel.
(That sound you hear is the laughter of everyone who knows me.)
OK, maybe rebel isn’t the right word. But I’ve always been someone who questions when I’m told there’s only one way to do something. My philosophy – in writing, in parenting, in life – is that we all have our own journey, and our own methods of reaching our destination.
Enter NaNoWriMo. Technically, I believe writers are supposed to start fresh Nov. 1 with a brand new idea, and go from zero to 50,000 words by Nov. 30. But at the end of October, I found myself 30,000-plus words into a WIP that I’m excited about.
So, I reasoned, why not just keep going? If I add 50,000 words to my WIP, that puts me pretty darn near finishing my second novel by the end of the month – or the first draft, anyway.
Six days in, I’m right on track with a little over 10,000 words. I started a new habit I’ve heard other writers talk about – writing before work each morning. I’m an incurable night owl, so getting up even earlier than usual is generally not something that sounds appealing. But I tell you, sitting down at the computer – giant cup of coffee in hand – has actually been a great way to start my mornings. I’m starting to look forward to it.
On the weekends, though, I’ll be writing later in the day/evening and trying to get more words in. (You know, to make up for those mornings during the week when I don’t quite meet my word count goal because my toddler gets up super early and starts asking for pancakes during Mommy’s writing time.)
By the way, I’m not trying to say that I came up with some novel (see what I did there?) idea. I’m sure there are plenty of other writers doing exactly what I’m doing: an unofficial, “rebellious” NaNoWriMo, using it as motivation to finish a project already started.
However you are choosing to NaNo (or if you’re not doing it at all), I salute you. What works best for me might not work best for you, but that doesn’t mean either of us is wrong. There’s more than one way to achieve our goals, in NaNo and in publishing in general. I’m rooting for us all to get there, in our own way.
I’ll be sure to update this post later in the month to see if I’m sticking to my early morning routine! And if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, I’d love to hear how it’s going, and your tips for getting words down!
UPDATE (Dec. 1):
I did it! (I’m sure everyone was losing sleep wondering if I would finish.) I added 50,203 words to my WIP, putting it at over 82,000 words total! It was tough getting up early those weekday mornings, but I’m finding myself missing it already. So I’m thinking I’ll pick a couple of mornings a week and make those my writing mornings.
Next goal: Finishing up this first draft – I’m so close! And then…time to revise, revise, revise!