Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sometimes I think NaNoWriMo is designed simply as an exercise in frustration.

Nationa Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a movement begun several years ago by a group of writers who vowed to write an entire novel of 50,000 words in one four-week period. The intent was to stop getting hung up on the editing and just let the novel flow out. Editing could happen later.

It was a wonderful idea and caught on with other authors. It spread through genre and age levels and now is a yearly, highly-anticipated event that authors from around the world choose to join. For the past three years I've participated, at least unofficially. I didn't sign up at the official site or join an offshoot group, but this year I've posted about my progress on my blog and Twitter stream. Needless to say, it ain't going so well for me.

I always start out with such high hopes. This year I wrote just over 9000 words the first week which kept me on par to complete 50K by December 1st. But the same problem came up that comes up every year. In my day job, I teach and grades are due by the end of the second week of November. That means I spend every "extra" moment the second week reading essays and senior papers. I worked late this year to get everything graded and came home exhausted. I didn't write but 2000 words the entire week.

Tried to catch up this week and had other RL issues get in the way so that I wrote not one single word on my manuscript. From 9000 to 2000 to 0. I'm more than halfway through the month and less than halfway to the target halfway point of 25,000 words.

The reality is what the reality is. I cannot add more hours in the day (I know, I've tried) and caffeine only gets me so far. I'm not offering these as excuses, but frustrations. Come retirement (2.5 more years, but who's counting?) and I can write 50K every month if I want. Right now, however, I am still squeezing writing time in the odd hours where I can.

I think it's safe to say I won't make the goal this year. I'm considerably further on my current wip, though, and that's always good. It's a full-length work with two couples I'm beginning to like--a lot. I'll be sorry when their story is finished because I enjoy spending time with them. I hope you will, too.

So, for those of you out there still aiming for that magic number -- good on ya! Keep going and I'm rooting for you from the sidelines. Get that novel out of you and onto the computer screen where you can work it in December. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

As for me, I'll keep writing but I'm a little less hopeful about getting this novel completed before the end of the month.


én said...
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Lynn LaFleur said...

Sometimes life intrudes when you don't want it to. But it sounds like your new book will be a winner, as are all your books. Hang in there, Diana!


Tara Nina said...

I've come to notice that there are days, sometimes weeks that I accomplish no writing at all due to life stalling my writing mojo (haha). Family always comes first. The job takes a huge bite out of my time. If I won the lottery would that make more time for writing, I wish. At least I wouldn't work a day job other than writing. I love to write.
I'm so looking forward to meeting these characters that have you so smitten Diana. I love your books.

Diana said...

Thanks to you both for the good words. Either of you trying to beat the word count this month?