This is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo. It isn’t for everyone. And honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever done it the way you’re supposed to. I haven’t joined any groups or gone to events. I’ve never locked myself in a room to reach 50,000 words (although it’d be cool to accomplish that much in one month). My goals have been a bit more selfish.
For a good read on why NOT to participate in NaNo, and the pitfalls you may experience check out my friend Kristen’s blog here.
I do NaNo for three reasons.
First, I’m more of a binge writer anyways. I’ve tried to set a goal of writing “x” amount of words per day, but that’s been difficult. Between two jobs (not including writing), four kids, and a good marriage, some days just don’t provide a moment to write.
After preaching two services, fellowshipping afterwards, counseling, developing leadership, rounding up the kids, and sitting down with my bride to eat dinner at 9pm, work comes fast at 6am.
I have to take the time to write when it comes and make the most of it. NaNo provides a good excuse to tell everyone Daddy is gonna use some free time this month to start a new story. And the cool part is that it often ends up with a nine or six-year old chatting me up while I write. Win-win.
Although I have no plans to name one of my protagonist’s Sparkle as my daughter recommended…
Second, I have lots of ideas for stories. But every once in a while, an idea bounces around my mind and won’t go away. NaNo gives me an opportunity to put down my current project and let it rip on the new idea to see how far it goes.
Instead of musing on this new story from time to time, I can dedicate thirty days to see if I really want to tell it. My first NaNo, I realized I didn’t like the idea that much. Last year turned into a novel I love every time I sit down to write more of it.
This year? Ooooh boy. I haven’t had this much fun writing in a long time.
Which brings me to the third reason. I’m definitely an outliner/plotter/architect type. NaNo gives me an opportunity to discovery write. I’ll have a vague outline of big picture plot concepts in my head, of beginning, middle, and end. But characters? Oh, I learn about them as I go, something I don’t normally do. Because of this, NaNo feels a bit less like work and a bit more like my very first stories as a kid.
After three days, I’m at 8,200 words this year. But I haven’t been watching my word count. I just didn’t to stop writing each night.
With that in mind, I believe I need a nap….