Keeping Score: 4 November 2022

So I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year.

“But,” I hear you say, “you’re already studying for the TCF in December, trying to put together the last pieces for your permanent residence application, taking three classes from Clarion West online, and supposed to be finishing those short stories you started over the summer. How are you going to also write 50,000 words in a new novel?”

And, well…I have no idea.

But! I want to try, for three reasons:

  1. I’ve noticed lately my writing output has slowed. A lot. Used to be I could crank out 500 words a day, no problem. Now I’m struggling to get even a hundred words down. I need something to kick me back into gear. NaNoWriMo can act as that something.
  2. The short story I’ve been working on — the sci-fi story that started as flash and then grew to 8,000 words in a second draft — has grown even more. I don’t know what the word count is, because I’ve been writing it out by hand. But when I stepped back and wrote up an outline, it looked very much like one of my novels. Not a short story. And if I’m going to be writing a new book anyway to finish this out, what better way to get it started than during NaNoWriMo?
  3. Failure is an option. All of this is voluntary, with the exception of the PR application (fingers crossed I get invited soon, and can get my paperwork together in time). I can drop out of the Clarion West classes without any hassle. And if I don’t hit 50,000 words this month on the novel, so what? So long as I push towards it, spend more time writing, and make progress on a new book, that’s enough.

Number 3 there is really important to me. I don’t want this to become a source of stress. I want it to be motivating; a challenge, not a directive. So I’m letting myself be okay with flubbing the first two days, when I only cranked out 400 or so words. Last night I put in over a thousand, and it felt great (I rewarded myself with some leftover Halloween candy). If I can keep that pace up, and do a little extra on the weekends, I’ll make the goal. And if not? Well, at least I’ll have a solid start to the next book.

If you want to follow along with my stumbling progress, my username is mindbat and my project is here. Hit me up, and let’s be writing buddies!