Monday, November 7, 2016

A Nudge of the NaNoWriMo Variety

National Novel Writing Month
I don't usually participate in NaNoWriMo, but I'm wondering if this year might be the year to make an exception. Again.

So far, I've done it twice, both with my own agenda in mind. The first time, I was close to finishing a middle grade novel, and I used the NaNoWriMo nudge to get myself to finish the book. By the end of November, the book was finished, but I'd gone off on so many tangents that the last quarter of the book had to be completely reworked. I decided then and there that NaNoWriMo wasn't for me.

Until a few years ago when I had another work-in-progress that kept getting swept to the bottom of the pile. This time, it was non-fiction and I had a plan in place, so, encouraged by an article I read on EBookWriMo, I once again dug in. This time, I was more successful in terms of structure, but less successful in terms of completion.

Once again, I find myself in the midst of a stalled work-in-progress. Time is the factor, but, if I'm honest, so is motivation, and I'm wondering if NaNoWriMo might once again provide the nudge I need.

There's something about writing with friends. The combination of camaraderie and accountability creates a "we're all in this together" spirit and, more important, an energy that's sometimes lacking when it comes to writing solo. I've found this in the sprint group spearheaded by Ramona DeFelice Long; this group keeps me moving in the summer, but I struggle to keep up during the semester. when my teaching responsibilities consume more than their fair share of my time and energy. And, before I know it, much too much time has passed between sprints.

When it comes to NaNoWriMo, everyone approaches it in his or her own way. My sister, a planner by nature, prepares for months ahead of time so she can maximize the month. Others just jump in feet first or dive in head first and start writing.

I'm somewhere in between. Nowhere near the planner that my sister is, I nevertheless require some sort of plan to make NaNoWriMo work, as evidenced my my previous experiences. Having no plan in place as I turned the calendar page, I figured this year wasn't the time to do it.

But maybe it's time to shake things up. Find something different to kick start my writing, and perhaps counting words for a month will do just that. And, if I add in the words for all of the writing I do, maybe it'll provide me with the sense of writing accomplishment I'm sorely lacking at the moment.

So, I'm dipping a toe into NaNoWriMo. I wish I could say I was more committed and optimistic than that, but the fact is, this is an act of desperation.

Wish me luck.

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