So, there’s been silence on the blog for a while, as I predicted, and that’s due my decision to try out National Novel Writing Month (which is now really InternationalNoWriMo) for the first time. And I think it’s going rather well…
As you can see, I’m crushing the target word-count of writing 1,667 words a day in order to complete 50,000 words within the month. Currently, I’m averaging over 2,000 a day and on course for over 60,000 as the month ends. I did not expect it to go this well, as I wasn’t sure how the story was going to flow or how much time I’d be able to snag for it. Since I had struggled to average 1,000 words last time I committed to a drafting surge (of my own, not NaNo), I’m very pleased with the progress.
I’m still a bit sceptical of NaNo as a whole, however. I am in a few on-line groups, and have even met up with some of them in person, but I’m not sure what I’ll take away from that. While it’s been nice to see there’s other authors out there struggling with the same sort of challenges I am, I don’t know that I’m a social writer. I don’t really like sharing until something is finished (and even then I’m not so keen!), and I don’t really find I like talking about writing much. Heck, I don’t even like thinking about writing that much – I just like writing.
Seeing as it’s all gone a bit easier than I could have hoped (so far), I’m not sure if NaNo is really providing much encouragement or support. Yes, having an external target and timeline is good, but knowing that I’m one of hundreds of thousands writing a book right now is actually discouraging. I know a lot of them won’t finish, and that it’s not a competition (except that it sort of is), but it feels increasingly impossible to stand out when so many around your are pounding the keyboards, too. And I’ve never really been one who likes to follow the crowd or jump on the bandwagon – which is why I suppose I did my own personal “NaNo” last year, just to prove I didn’t need it. This one came along at the right time.
The best thing about it, actually, has been that I’m able to convince my wife that I’m doing something real and external. I’m not sure I would have convinced her to lose me for so much more time than I can normally commit to writing without this external validation, so that’s good!
For the future, I predict a slight slump as I approach the finish line (family commitments), but I hope to keep writing this story until it’s done. It will be at least 100k, so the NaNo target is only halfway there, and at this rate it will take me another month to finish – just in time for Xmas!