I have not participated in NaNoWriMo since 2009. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a month-long quest into insanity. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. That’s about 1667 words a day. For me, it’s 1923 words a day since I try not to write on Sundays. It’s crazy, but it’s a good opportunity to ramp up your word count.
The NaNoWriMo site is pretty awesome, too. It’s like Facebook for crazy, crack-head writers. You can add friends, assign yourself to regions and compete in word count competitions. You can even find others in your area sponsoring write-ins. So if it’s so wonderful, why haven’t I participated in two years?
First I have to give you a little history in my participation in the contest. I did my first in 2007. I discovered NaNoWriMO close to November 1st, so I had little time to prep for it. I finished that year, and in 2008, but I did it seat-of-the pants. No plot, not outline. Just writing.
For 2009, I decided to do a preemptive strike. I chose to outline my novel that October. Since I’d just converted to outlining/plotting, I started light with some character sketches. Before I knew, I had much of the plot laid out and was ready to write. But it wasn’t November yet. I ended up jumping the gun, starting the story in October, but not participating NaNoWriMo
And thus the conundrum. You see, you have to start NaNoWriMo with 0 words. Yes, I could cheat because no one really checks, but that wouldn’t be honest and it doesn’t matter if this isn’t a real contest. By October 2009, the story was fresh in my mind and I was ready to get started…so I did.
I am the type of writer who has to write while the idea is hot. My words normally come out in one big rush, which is why NaNoWriMo works for me. I can just feverishly write and ignore the internal editor.
So here I am preparing for NaNoWriMo again. I started plotting this month. And once again, I’m ready to write now. I had a great brainstorming session with a friend. I still have some kinks to work out, but I think they’ll come out when I start writing, which I am very ready to do right now.
I don’t know if I can wait until November. What to do…