We are quickly approaching November, which is crazy to think about. This year is almost complete. As I have become more involved in the writing community, I have discovered this thing called “NaNoWriMo.” When someone first asked me if I do this, I thought it was some new technological thing. I quickly learned that November has been designated National Novel Writing Month. The idea is if you write 2,000 words every day, then by the end of the month you will have a 60,000 word novel.
I might not like this idea on some levels because none my novels are that small. I range between 80,000 and 100,000. Before I get chastised, I must note that my genre is fantasy, which means my books are actually on the “smaller” side. Therefore, finishing 60,000 words would not finish my manuscript, but I contend that it would take me pretty close.
I like the concept of this idea. I just disagree with the application. At the moment, my writing is back down to microscopic. Therefore, my world is a little dark and my frustration levels a little high. But winter is always the hardest month for me to wake up early and write. It’s just too dark outside! So, I like the idea of making writing a priority. Drop the excuses. Drop the whining, and “just do it!”
But, what I dislike about this bandwagon is the implication that writing a novel is so easy one can just spit it out in a month. Most people I talk to either gave up half way through November, or wrote a novel and trashed it at the end of the month because it was no good. If you are someone who was successful, or know someone who was, please let me know. But I think the idea to write 2000 words every single day is a steep goal. To be successful, a writer would have to spend months prepping for the writing part. They would have to research and build plots, characterization maps, and outlines, etc. Then, they might have a shot. But, I know myself. I’ll plan, get half way, and my characters will throw a monkey wrench into the idea…or something doesn’t quite work.
Writing is tough. It should be. It isn’t something you can spit out and drink a latte after—and I think it’s a disservice to suggest it is. It’s kind of like saying I want to go run 26 uncharted miles and be successful. I know Stephen King says he does not spend more than three months writing a manuscript, but everyone writes a little different.
So, set realistic goals for myself, yes. Make writing a priority and write every day, yes. But, I will not be participating in NaNoWriMo. Instead, I will take the time to get back on track. For me, slow and steady wins the race. But, I do wish all those willing to try the best of luck starting Friday!