As I’ve continued editing my Novel Experiment, I’ve thought a lot about time: how much I have of it, the way I spend it, and how much I can give to new writing projects.
Brandon Rucker of the eponymous website recently asked me if I would be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. I responded by bursting into terrified laughter.
While I have never been part of NaNoWriMo before, I have always found the lure of it enticing. Writing 50,000 words in a month and walking away with a mostly finished manuscript sounds hugely rewarding. It would also devour my life.
When I am in the thick of drafting a novel, I have a conservative goal of writing 5,000 new words per week. That only works out to a little more than 20,000 words per month. I keep the goal low for a couple of reasons: I work full time, and I run this blog. As many of you know, blogging can take a lot of time. It involves coming up with ideas, drafting and editing posts, and interacting with the broader community.
And I love it, but it does take time from other projects.
So I won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo this year even though a part of me would like to. Though I might be able to make 50,000 words fit into my monthly schedule, I suspect that my burnout rate would be very high. I suppose I’m fated to be a tortoise chipping away at my works instead.
Having said all of that, I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing how everyone else progresses with NaNoWriMo. I know that Brandon plans to participate and will hopefully be keeping us updated on how that goes – if you haven’t already, you should check out his website. There is some great stuff there – and I’m sure others of you will be furiously writing in November as well.
If you have experience with NaNoWriMo, I’d love to hear about it. It is fascinating to know how other people survive the month.