I have! This will be my fourth time doing NaNo. So far, I’ve managed to succeed every year I’ve done it, although finishing the draft after the fact has been a bit more challenging. I’ll be writing the rough draft of the third and final book in the Lya Darkwood Trilogy (of which I’m attempting to sell book one, Lady of Darkwood, and currently working on the third draft of the second book). I am so excited about starting. With the exception of short fiction, I feel like the past ten months have been all about revisions. I’m looking forward to telling that internal editor to bug off and diving into something new and exciting.
Now, I know that NaNoWriMo is not for everyone. If you are a supremely slow writer, and have to juggle NaNoWriMo with some combination of school, work, and/or kids, it might be a bit much for you. Still, I urge anyone on the fence to seriously think about doing at least a modified NaNo, if just because it’s the perfect excuse to get people writing.
Before this year, I was one of those dreaded writers that didn’t write all that much fiction. Book reviews, yes. Not to mention tweets aplenty. Still, it took an ungodly amount of effort for me to sit down and actually write something. I feel like this is a common problem with writers. There are plenty of people who think about writing, talk about writing, consume media about writing, and even attend writing conventions, but make no real attempt to make writing a regular part of their lives. The one dependable exception for me was NaNoWriMo. After all, it was a scheduled event! And a challenge on top of that. And if I didn’t start right on November first, how could I finish by the end? To me, NaNoWriMo was just the excuse I needed to actually sit down at the computer and work on something on a regular basis, and see results at the end. I just wish it didn’t take me three tries to realize that this writing (almost) daily was something I could do year round, albeit less intensely then during November.
NaNoWriMo is the perfect excuse to get writing, so I encourage you to try it out. Go for the 50k if you think it might be possible. If not, modify it to a more attainable amount. Maybe try to write 1k a day for a total of 30k. Or do a half a NaNo. Or maybe base your goals around time limits (write for an hour a day? thirty minutes), page counts, or chapter goals. Either way, do yourself a favor and use November as as excuse to BE a writer.
As for me, I’ll probably be making several NaNo related posts around here (maybe once a week like I did for my month of submissions), to keep people up to date on my progress, as well as share advice for what’s helped me in the past. I hope you’ll join me on my writing journey by starting one of your own.