If you aren’t familiar, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) is when authors around the globe attempt to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It’s quite a fun little virtual event to participate in, with posts going up across all of social media with the #nanowrimo hashtag, revealing the triumphs, trials and tribulations or participants.
I have tried this challenge THREE times now, and have never managed to “win” NaNo. Truthfully, I think 2020 was my worst year yet. Go figure.
At the time this blog is posting, it’s the last day – November 30th – and I’ve managed to accumulate a total of around 12,000 words. Just to be clear, writing a large number of words in a short period of time is not a foreign concept to me. I wrote a 23,000 word manuscript in 3 days back in August, and several of my books are 90-100,000 word novels that were written in a 3-4 week period.
SO WHY THE HECK CAN’T I MANAGE TO ACTUALLY WRITE 50K IN NOVEMBER?
It’s incredibly frustrating to feel writer’s block, and I’m normally fairly adept at navigating it and pushing through, circumstances be damned. I even wrote a blog about it back in July of 2019. But for some reason, the elusive NaNoWriMo Challenge has remained just that: elusive.
The deadline for my next release (the fourth and final book in my Hermosa Beach series) is mid-December, just in time for my family to arrive for a few weeks for Christmas. I still have about 90,000 words to write and edit in the next two and a half weeks. It’s a little bit daunting, knowing the pressure I’m about to face to get this book done and submitted on time. But I honestly believe it’s the intense stress of writing under a looming deadline that pushes me along.
Maybe that’s my problem for NaNo all along. Too loosey, goosey. Too hypothetical. The idea of if I’m going to complete 50K by the last day, not when I complete those words.
Next year, I’ll set a book deadline for November 30th.
Maybe then I’ll actually “win.”