NaNoWriMo Rebel: What I do when I don’t have time to write
In just ten more days, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) commences, but I’m up to my eyeballs in author To Dos and I have the first (ish) draft of novel three staring me in the face, begging to be revised. While I would love to forget all my should dos to lose myself in a brand-spanking-new story where I can dream up new characters and imagine a world in which they exist, I will use the month (and the promise of the commitment) to carve out time to revise my WIP.
Just like I do when I’m writing during November, I’ll divide up the word count goal for the month (50K words) by the number of days in the month (30) to come up with a daily revision count goal (1,667 words). Call me a rebel, if you will, but I’m choosing to call myself practical. My goal over the grand scheme of the month is to have a semi-polished draft ready to workshop with my critique partners.
I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2012. It’s a gift to give to myself, really. I let my family and friends know what I’m working on so they don’t feel slighted and I lean into the project. It’s been working for me. Last year, I wrote the WIP I am about to revise. And, five years ago, I wrote the first draft of book two, Of Lies and Honey, which is set for release next year. I can’t say that every year I’ve participated that the result was a jewel of a book to one day become publishable. But, no year, no 50K word draft has been wasted. For each, I’ve experimented and honed my craft.
Will you be joining me? As a writer? Or a rebel reviser? You owe it to yourself to at least try!
Plan as much as possible ahead of the month, so you aren’t grappling for ideas
Write through the mundane, add part of your day and make it part of the story if you have to
Let go of perfection; accept that most of your story won’t be polished at all–keep writing (through the crap)
Always end a writing session in the middle of a scene or chapter, a place where you know where it’s going when you return to writing in order to alleviate writers block
Do a word sprint. Set a timer for 30 minutes, or so, and write as many words as you can in the time
Do a word sprint challenge with writing friends to see who can write the most words
Use the NaNoWriMo site to chart your words; seeing that word count graph rise is motivation
Commit to 1,667 words a day. On a day you are in the zone and/or have extra time, write more to bank them for a day when life gets in the way
Set weekly goals for yourself and reward yourself when you meet them
Most importantly, have fun!