Today begins the madness that is National Novel Writing Month. Writers everywhere are feverishly pounding out words as fast as they can in an attempt to write 50,000 words before the end of the month. It averages to about 1667 words per day. I've set a goal of 1800 words a day. My plan is to do three sessions a day at 600 words per session. As I've said previously, my life is too hectic to sit and write in one sitting. Plus, I get antsy.
Every NaNo participant has their own game plan. They all have their own motivations they call upon to help them through. I've done this a couple of times although I've only won once. And each time is different. There are a couple of things I've found which help me succeed.
For me, I cannot start a new project. I have to be knee deep in a project in order to get the acceleration it is going to take to get the writing done. Too often, those first 5000 words are slow and difficult. I've started a book from the beginning for NaNo before and I ended up stopping midway through the month. The MS I've chosen to work on was at the 40K mark on October 31st, I'm hoping this month will get me to the end.
I think that's another thing which works for me. I don't want a mere 50K words, I want the end of the book. If I finish this book at the end of November, I have the holidays to clean it up and have it ready to submit. It's a great movitator.
I also plan rewards. If I get my 1800 words done, I have the freedom to do whatever else I want. Usually that is mindnumbing video games. I'm lucky that most of my shows are on hiatus for the first couple of weeks of the month so I'm not so tempted watch t.v.
Reading is a big part of my NaNo regimen. I need to find time to read. I'm not sure why. Perhaps reading reminds me of the final product. It reminds me why I have joined the madness.
Mostly I strive to make this month about the joy of writing. I'm trying to make writing an integrated part of my life rather than a seperate situation. I want to give it the same importance I give everything else.
Those of you who do NaNo or any other time of challenge-based writing project, what do you hope to gain from the exercise?