It’s National Novel Writing Month and I don’t know what I’m doing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I know I’m writing a novel. I even know what novel I’m writing. In fact, I’ve already started, not just planning, but writing. Because, you see, NaNoWriMo wasn’t the plan. Writing a novel was the plan, a long gestating, slowly marinating plan. I’ve had a mild to middlingly successful year writing short stories, stories that became progressively longer and longer. A novel was the next logical step. NaNoWriMo was an accident of the calendar.
This puts me in a slightly odd position. I’ve never written a novel before, although I started one once upon a time. I’ve never done NaNoWriMo before. That isn’t the odd part. The odd part is I’m slightly out of sync. I’m also slightly behind. I’m 3 days behind schedule and I haven’t even started NaNoWriMo yet. This doesn’t bode well. It’s also why I’m even doing this. Pressure. Productivity pressure. Something I can lack. Something many writers can lack. After all, if I coincidently start writing my first novel at around the same time thousands of others are, and there’s a community for us writers/ escaped inmates, why not take advantage.
So, 50,000 words in November plus the 8000 or so I’ve managed the past week and a half. Seems doable. I say now. But then, I am the crazy person who wants to write for a living and the key part of writing is writing, and writing consistently. I’ve been more consistent this year than I’ve ever been, but I need to be more so. So that’s how I intend to treat this and all future NaNoWriMos—as training, as a career step of some kind.
What could possibly go wrong?
Take advantage of the coincidence. If thousands of other authors are going to give you encouragement, it can’t hurt.