But so far this year, everything hasn’t been working the way it normally does. So why would I expect Nanowrimo to be any different.
As some of you might have noticed, this year hasn’t been great for me writing wise. I’ve been working through some personal things, including getting a new job, still adjusting to a new place and welcoming a new member into my extended family (a little baby nephew), which has all put a crimp into my writing time and focus.
On top of that I have been having some writing issues too. Mostly, that I’ve been starting series. I have three series now in the works, that have one or two books finished, but I am waiting to submit until the whole series is finished for a couple of reasons (including consistency, publicity, and giving my readers what the want—limited wait time between books), which really slows down my out put, but will cause a big bang next year when they are finally complete and ready for publication.
But regardless of all this I had still planned to participate in Nanowrimo. Its one of my favorite activities all year long, and regardless of everything else going on, I still wanted to part take. I was planning on spending October the way I normally do, revising, focusing on my new stand alone ménage, and then hit November with a bang. This year I’m also staying home for the holidays, which would free up a lot of distraction and time.
Then on October 1st I got into a car accident. I was fine, besides a few bumps and bruises, but my car was not. Emotionally, the accident hit me hard (pun intended) and distracted me even further from my goal of revising my ménage. Not only did I have to deal with the insurance company and finding transportation, I also spent over a week looking for a new car. Not to mention the mental headspace these all took up.
On top of that, the accident spurred in me a need to write about it, to make sense of it and deal with my emotions around the crash in the only way I know how—through a story. So I immediately started writing my heart out on a new book, featuring a heroine that gets in an awful car crash and the man who saves her. So I’ve broken one of my cardinal rules for Nanowrimo. I never write in October, to give my mind time to relax and store up ideas so when the first comes I want to write so bad I stay up for hours just to get the words down. That combined with my need to get some works finished and off to my editor soon, I’m not sure Nanowrimo is the right idea for me this year. I’m certainly not setting myself up for an easy month the way I normally do.
But instead of abandoning the idea of Nanowrimo all together, I’ve decided to amend Nanowrimo this year to suit my own needs.
The point of Nanowrimo is to encourage people who never thought they could write a book to just give it try. To show them that they can write 50k in a month. I’ve definitely proven that. I’ve won Nano for the four times and published eighteen books. As a published author, I need to focus more on finishing books, and getting them to publication, instead of just getting words down on a page. But I still love the spirit and encouragement of Nanowrimo, so this year I’m going to do it my own way. While I will still try to hit the 50k word goal of Nanowrimo, my focus this year will be on finishing works already started. That means no new book for me this year. I currently have over twenty books on my started list, ranging for a thousand words to thirty thousand. I need to get some of these babies completed and out of the house. For my own focus if nothing else.
The rules are simple. I can work on anything that is already started. Even if I just have a few words on the page. If I have a document holding some combination of words, that counts. But that’s the only things I can work on. No exceptions.
With so many ideas in the works, it shouldn’t be hard to find another 50k to fit in. Though I will admit it is harder for me to add words to something already created than to start something new. Especially because a few of these works are a little old and will take some time to dust off the characters and get writing. But that’s the challenge of it.
My focus will not only be to hit the word count goal, but also to complete as many works as possible during this month (giving me even more fodder for my December close out plan). My first focus will be the accident story I’m currently working on, and after that completing one of my series.
While I’m still working through some personal issues, especially the change in job that is supposed to be officially completed this month (Great Timing!) I refuse to let that tamper my Nanowrimo fun. I’m going to make this November productive and enjoyable if it kills me—though I certainly hope it doesn’t.
With only six more days to go, I'm already starting to get a little antsy to get started. While only time will tell how successful this month is, I'm determined to make November my most productive this year either way. I can’t wait to start telling you all how many great stories I’ve finished and you can expect to see on your digital shelves very soon. Wish me luck!