For the last six years, November 1st has been the start of a grand challenge. An adventure, if you will, into a new world. Each of the last six years, I have started and completed NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a challenge to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30.
Sounds mad you say? It is rather. That’s part of the appeal.
The last three years, this mad dash of writing has produced some great books that are all on a track to possible publication. This year, however, I have a backlog of written novels waiting for editing. I’ve spent most of 2012 focused on editing after writing one novel earlier in the year (now also on the ‘to edit’ list). The endless editing is making me a little stir crazy, but I know how good it would feel to get these books polished and ready for submission to my agent, so I keep plugging away.
Because of this, as NaNo approached this year, I decided I wouldn’t be participating. It’s easy to justify this decision under the circumstances. I have other goals this year. I don’t have time to write something new and I certainly don’t need another book on my editing backlog (no matter what the people in my head say).
Interestingly, as I sit here on November 1st writing this blog post about how I’m not doing NaNo this year, I think about what NaNoWriMo has been for me. Every year, as the year is racing to an end and the stress of holidays is upon me, my focus falters and my discipline for writing begins to crack. NaNo is my reset. It kick starts my writing and gets me back on track.
As I sit here writing this blog post about how I’m not doing NaNo, I open in another screen my NaNo profile and enter in Clockwork Cat book 3 as my project for this year.
What’s wrong with me? Why am I doing this?
It is an addiction of sorts. I’ll admit that. The truth is, I need my reset. The end of the year is running me down as it always does and I know one reliable way to get myself back in gear. I need my tune up.
Clockwork Cat 3 is already half-written. I won’t win NaNo this year because I won’t get another 50,000 words out of the book, but I will finish it by the end of this month. That is my goal. That is my reset for 2012. I will finish Clockwork Cat 3 while I continue editing Clockwork Cat book 2 and Dark Sovereigns book 1.
All you NaNoWriMo writers, write like crazy. Have a blast. I’m write there with you. ;)