I’ve touched on a lot of topics on this blog within my first year. In the five years since, it’s only right that my thoughts and opinions have changed and shifted overtime. Already, I previously revisited the topic of young adult fiction. Now, I want to do the same for NaNoWriMo. I feel it’s only right, especially since this year is the 20th anniversary since it was started.
Just as a reminder, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month; where over the course of the next 30 days, writers who’re established, upcoming, or aspiring hash out a 50,000-word novel. While its origins are here in the San Francisco Bay Area, its participants can be found all over the world.
When I last wrote about NaNoWriMo five years ago, I talked at length about how while the project can be the ultimate jump start for those who’ve been making excuses or procrastinating on the endeavor, for others, it’s too much of a high pressure situation to get anything done. That is something I still stand by.
At the same time, I didn’t follow as many writers on Twitter five years ago as I do now, and I can see now how some are even taking the opportunity to reinvent NaNoWriMo to fulfill goals that they already have set out for themselves. An example that I’ve seen is to write a certain number of words each day, to complete the novel they’ve been working on this year.
I find this a lot better than trying to cram 50,000 words into one month (which is close to 2,000 words per day). Use the month to start or finish something, and not feel obligated to do so much at once, sounds a lot more doable. But then again, this is coming from the perspective of someone who’s also writing her third novel, while balancing other obligations outside of being a writer.
That’s perhaps the hardest part about NaNoWriMo; finding that balance to get this goal done, on top of everything else we have going on in life. Some people are enrolled in school, some of us have jobs, some have families to take care of, and more. As someone who’s been in her current full-time job for nearly a year now, that’s something I’m still struggling with figuring out; finding the time to write my novel, alongside everything else I have going on. I managed to write my first novel while enrolled in college full-time. Why is it that now it’s that much more different?
I applaud those who’re either tackling the original goal of NaNoWriMo head on, and those who’re reinventing it to adhere to their needs and goals. With where I am in my writing process, I’m planning to do the latter. I am so far away from where I want to be in the creation of my current novel. What I hope to do this month is to just work on my novel to some capacity or another every day. While I technically did not do that at all yesterday, the month is still young, and so it’s still early enough to get it going.
Regardless of how or which path you pursue to fulfill your writing goal, by all means, stick with it. Words mean nothing if you don’t have the action to follow it.
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