NaNoWriMo is the annual act of collective insanity where you volunteer to draft a complete novel of at least 50,000 words over the 30 days of November.
I’ve done it 3 times and succeeded, and another 3 times and failed. And this year, after an extended break, I’m trying it once again.
Why? Ultimately, because I suddenly had a good idea. After this many attempts, I know how great it feels to actually finish the manuscript, however much it requires editing. I also know how bad it feels not to, even if there are uncontrollable circumstances blocking you. The desire for great wins out, at least this early in the month.
And it’s the idea that matters. I had a different NaNoWriMo concept earlier in the year, but when I sat down and thought about it, it didn’t seem well-formed enough. (You’re allowed and encouraged to think about your idea and even do research if you wish – you just can’t do any of the actual writing before November 1.)
So I thought NaNoWriMo wasn’t going to be part of my 2023. And then, last Saturday, I was struck by a completely different idea – and I was filled with excitement. I knew I could make it work.
Unlike some previous attempts, I’m not going to post daily blog updates about what I’m doing. I’ll put the energy into the writing itself.
But I will be updating my NaNoWriMo profile daily with my current total, remembering as always that you need to knock off an average of 1,700 words a day to be sure of hitting the 50,000 word total.
As it happens, I have a couple of days of leave already scheduled in November, so those might help too.
Under the newer NaNoWriMo rules, you can continue to work on a previous project if you like. But I’m a purist, so only a new manuscript will do.
And while it shouldn’t need saying, to be clear, no, I won’t be asking generative AI for help. What’s the point of doing that?
Wish me luck!
In the meantime, if you’re super-curious, you can read the opening chapters of 2 of those NaNoWriMo manuscripts I did complete and the blurb for the 3rd, lurking still on my old blog: