It’s November. (WHERE did the time go??) November is the traditional time of turkey and family gatherings, which for some of us can be a mixed blessing. We like the food just fine, it’s the…
Nevermind. My family might read this.
ANYWAY. What else is important about November? NaNoWriMo, of course!
NaNoWriMo is what we writers (insert lofty, snooty voice here) like to call, National Novel Writing Month. Brought to us by the same people who invent greeting cards, probably. But it’s a month in which participants attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel, start to finish. Poof.
I’ve known about this for a while now, but never really thought to participate. Something about this year is different. Bad water, maybe? But I threw my hat in the ring and today begins the writing.
Which of course, being me, means that I have some thoughts about the writing. (Put the rotten tomato down. Now. There’s a good boy.) One could simply get out of bed, skip the shower, (ew!), and go right to the keyboard to write and not stop until word number fifty thousand and one.
OR, conversely, we might think of a saner way to do this.
Now, I know there are people out there who do the ‘double dog dare,’ which is a hundred thousand words in a month.
I’m not one of them.
I want to have my sanity at the end of this, and I have a huge family celebration smack in the end week. So, how do I plan this?
Let’s break it down. 50,000 words divided by 30 is 1,667. So, if we write 1,667 words a day, we’ll hit our target. For me, writing in paragraphs spaced similarly to this blog, where paragraphs are single and there’s a line break in between each one, that’s about four pages. Just four pages a day. I can do that. Some days, I might have more time, so I could bank some extra pages to see me through that aforementioned family week.
But what else? We might be tempted to abandon all hope, ye who enter… Uh, wrong quote. We might be tempted to abandon the tools we know keep us stable and balanced. This is a supremely BAD idea. Why? Because, dear reader, we want to arrive at December sane and balanced! I am a devotee of the Artist’s Way, as those of you who follow this blog know. So will I skip my morning pages and avoid artist dates in the interest of having ‘more time to write?’
In fact, Julia Cameron advises us to take TWO artist dates in a time of heavy creative output.
And trust me. Fifty thousand words is heavy creative output.
So I plan to write my four pages a day, shower and brush my fangs – and floss! – and do my morning pages, even if it’s kicking and screaming. And, I’ll admit, today was tough – I wanted to skip them and dive right into my WIP, but I was a good little writer and did them.
And here’s the thing. I don’t feel crazy.
(Of course, isn’t that what all crazy people say? O.o…)