I fully understand November is still a whole two months away, but for those of us who annually participate in National Novel Writing Month, we sometimes start planning as early as August. But today NaNoWriMo opened the site to be able to announce this year’s project, so I thought it was a good time to start talking about it!
I’m frankly a bit obsessed with this particular writing event. It is one of the things that really taught me about what kind of writer I am, as well as how I can improve. I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since about 2013, and won some of those years, but admittedly not all of them.
Also, I’m generally somewhere between a “planner” and a “pantser”, which means I definitely do more planning than some people, but my outlines are generally pretty loose.
I’m still in the process of picking my project for this year. In the past, I generally begin writing an entirely new novel on November 1st, in the hopes I can write 50,000 words by the end of the month on it. I’m considering doing something different this year, which is why I’m hesitant to declare my project just yet.
When I first began participating in NaNo, I thought you were required to start a NEW book every time. But as long as you write 50,000 NEW WORDS on an older project, you’re perfectly within your rights to do that as well. If you put in the work, it doesn’t matter that you had previously worked on the novel. So when you’re picking what novel to work on, don’t shy away from adding to that old manuscript that’s been sitting dormant for a while, waiting for the right push to get it going. Or, feel free to spread your creative wings on a brand new story.
This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo while I wasn’t also in school. I just graduated from graduate school, I’m newly married, and though I’m still working a part-time job, I have more time than I have in years. This certainly doesn’t guarantee me success, since I still have to budget my time well and properly prepare my novel. Either way, hopefully my success (or failure) can offer a little edification. Just because I know a lot of tips and tricks to succeed even when under a serious time deficit doesn’t mean I hit that 50,000 words every year and that’s okay.
A crucial thing to remember is this: every word you write during NaNoWriMo is one word more than you had before, so none of it is ever a loss or a failure. If you’re writing, it’s always a success.
As it gets closer to NaNoWriMo, I’ll continue to post more about the process, advice for participating in this particular writing event, and hopefully encourage you to finally write that project you’ve been thinking about! Whether you do NaNoWriMo every year or if its your first year attempting it, I strongly encourage doing NaNo!