Back to Writing Shape

Woke up this morning with a thought on my mind–no, not the one about how strange my dream seemed last night.  That’s a different thought.  No, this one had to do with something that’s not due to happen for a few months–

What am I going to do about NaNo?

If you write, and you hang out on the Internet, you know about NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month.  November 1st through the 30th, “Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon”, they say.  “Thirty Days and Nights of Trying to Make Your Word Count”, can be more like it.

Last year was my first year for it, and surprise!  I “won” and finished ahead of time.  In twenty-five days I wrote eighty-five thousand words of a story I like to call Her Demonic Majesty.  It was a good feeling, being able to do that, let me tell you.  At the time I was just getting back into my writing, and it was a great thing to sit at the computer, bring up Scrivener, and start cranking out the story.

Day after day after day . . .

You go through all the feelings one has about writing.  You have a great idea; you start out with great abandon; you begin to realize just what a chore you have ahead; you begin thinking that your story sucks hard; you wonder what the hell you’re doing; you see the end is very close; you gird your loins to hit the finish; you write “The End,” and you feel really great.

Except where most people might take two, three, four months to do all that, you to it in thirty days.  Talk about your emotional roller coaster.

I decided a while back I was going to do it again.  Why not?  I’m a writer.  Writer’s write, and it’s one of those things where you can set a goal for yourself and go for it.

So all you have to do is write 1,666 words every day, and you are In Like Flint–you’ll have your novel in no time.

Simple, right?


There was a time when I didn’t worry about that sort of thing.  I could crank out a thousand words in an hour and break for tea like it was nothing.  These days, not so much.  These days, I seem to spend a lot more time screwing off and messing around than I do writing.  Oh, sure, I may say, “Hey, I did seven hundred words last night,” or “I managed to get eleven hundred words out last night,” but that’s not up to my old standard.  This time last year, I was doing a thousand words in forty minutes, and laughing about it.

What happened, then?  Any number of things:  social media, trying to find people to talk to at night, boredom.  You name it, I’ve done it or had it.  Throw in that I’m working this year, and NaNo becomes a very daunting project this year.

I’ve got to get back into writing shape.  I need to cut out all the distractions at night, set up my times for writing, and write.  Just me, my computer, my music, and my story.  Everything else becomes secondary.

I also need to figure out if what I want to write is actually going to make fifty thousand words.  There’s a very good possibility that I might not have enough story there, and if that’s the case, I need to do something before October gets here, because that’s going to be Research Month for me.

Here we go: feet first into the pool.

I hope the water is inviting.