It’s that time of year again when writers write a 50,000-word novel in a month. Ah, the flurry of words flying from pen to paper and the smell of fear oozing from pores. Lovely, quite lovely. I participated in NaNoWriMo last year for the first time. It was challenging but absolutely doable after I silenced my inner critic and made myself “just write.” That’s hard, isn’t it? It’s hard not critiquing yourself as you go. Silencing your critic and letting your creativity go wild is the most challenging thing about NaNoWriMo, or perhaps writing in general. After November 30th, 51,000 words, and a Moleskine later, I swore I’d never do that again. Why? Because at 23:50 November 30th, my fingers were flourishing across my keyboard at an astonishing rate in order to type up my words from that day (I was one of those weird people who decided to hand write the 50,000.), and they ached for a few hours after.
The funny thing about NaNoWriMo last year was that it was kind of an after-thought. I was in Virginia on October 28th visiting a friend and asked offhand, “Should I do NaNoWriMo?” And that was that. I didn’t think ahead of time what to write about. I didn’t plot or prepare my idea. I simply took the other novel idea that I dreamt up (literally) a couple of years earlier and went to it. This year is basically the same, although I’m not doing NaNoWriMo. I’m doing, what I’ve aptly named, NaReWriMo! That stands for National Rewriting Month. It doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it as National Novel Writing Month, but it fits my purposes.
This year I’m rewriting my NaNoWriMo novel from last year because it was awful, and I really do mean that. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, it was incredibly uninspiring. I’ve already spent a few months plotting and working on character development and all that fun stuff. I’ve started rewriting it too, but I’ve stopped. It’s not writer’s block. It’s nothing but pure laziness I’m pretty sure. It baffles me how four years ago I could write 1500-2000 words a day, while I’ll be lucky if I manage to have enough discipline to even put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. So, with any luck, this year will be like last year in that it forces me to work because writing is work, and if anyone tells you otherwise, then they’ve never really tried it properly. It’s fun work (most of the time) of course, but work nonetheless.
I’m also not making myself write 50,000 words simply because I’d rather have a much better draft this time since it is, technically, the second draft. My goal: 30,000. Totally doable. It’s the end of Day 3 and I have 0 words! Let’s celebrate! To be fair, I wasn’t in town until last night. I also wasn’t even anywhere I could write since I was driving all day Saturday and Sunday. As for today, I’ll get to it after this.
For anyone doing NaNoWriMo, I wish you luck! Don’t go too crazy trying to fit your word count in every day. There’s always tomorrow. Except for on November 30th.