Every year I see writers coming together for National November Writing Month, which challenges all writers to write 50,000 words in one month. Let it be known, I have never actually (I mean officially) signed up for this challenge and I think I know why…
I’ve never signed up and yet, something about writers coming together to avoid social media and JUST WRITE always tugs me in and makes me think you can do this, too! However, the thing is… you really have to write the equivalent of 1,667 words a day, every day, for thirty days – and it is just not as easy as you think. If you don’t have the ideas pre-formed, I think pantsing that amount in such a time has got to be hard. If you’ve also just finished one project and are working on a new one for #NaNoWriMo, that’s going to be testing because there is only so much creativity one can produce. You have to have breaks between projects no matter what anyone says. There’s only so much in the tanks.
For me, November is busy enough. Everyone wants their books edited in November because they want to give people books as Christmas presents. In the past, I was a journalist wife’s, a widow of sorts, waiting for him to emerge from the 14-hour days of November and the night shifts spent getting the Christmas magazines out of the door – so I might have had time to write every night back then. However, since he’s changed careers, we actually have date nights now in November, and it’s GREAT!
Another thing about November is that it is one of the darkest months of the year!! Truly. Everybody in the northern hemisphere is on a bit of a downer, because the seasons are changing and the jumpers are coming out. Maybe writing is the escape some people need in November, or maybe 1,667 words a day is the stress you could just do without. I personally don’t believe you can force yourself to write a structured amount every day. I either get 5,000 words out in one day, or I get nothing at all. I have to be desperate to write in order to write, that’s how it works for me.
However I do love the idea that all writers are beavering away at once and magic is multiplying across the land with all these writers casting their writerly spells everywhere. However, I just never find it practical to write like this in November. It just never works for me. Last year I did write 50,000 words in a month but it was 30,000 on one project and 20,000 on another.
This year, I’m up to my eyeballs in edits and just cannot manage it. It’s just not happening. My instinct tells me the words I’d splutter would end up scrapped in a later edit. That happened last year with Unfurl. I was trying to use #NaNoWriMo to complete this book and 75% of what I wrote got scrapped because I just didn’t have the uuuummmmppphhhh there. I was forcing words.
Goodbye NaNo, maybe next year. We do have a strange relationship, don’t we? 😉
But hey ho, while I’m not writing on the laptop, my mind is still conjuring the next projects to come…