I’m going to try my hand again this year at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For those who aren’t familiar, it’s where you spend the month of November trying to write a 50,000 word novel (and no cheating by using something you started writing at an earlier date). It starts at midnight November 1st and ends at midnight November 30th.
As is my usual style, I’ll be honest here and tell you I haven’t finished in my previous two attempts. In my defense, the first year I didn’t find out about it until after November 1st and started off the several thousand words off the pace needed to finish on time. Last year I was working for an organization that had their biggest event of the year in late November, there wasn’t much time for eating or sleeping and writing was luxury.
Instead, my goal each year has been to use the month to form better writing habits. To do things like carve an hour out of each day to write without interruptions. To get better at focusing when I do write so I can make the most of my time. Figuring what if tight outlines or free-flow works best (a kind of combination, thanks for asking). It’s really been a great chance to get to know me as a writer. Sure, I’d love to make 50,000 words, but I also know I have enough major stressors in my life that block the flow if ideas to let one of the things that let me relax become a major source of stress.
But this year is a little different. I finally have some freelance work coming up, but I’m not working full-time for an organization going full throttle towards the end of the month. I usually have at least a couple of hours to myself each day. I’m not saying it’s a sure thing, but things certainly look a lot better for success than they did last year!