NaNoWriMo Starts Tomorrow (Help!)

Am I ready? No, not at all. Could I be any more ready? I don’t think so. So what will I do tomorrow?

I will sit down and write 1'667 words. That’s the easy part. The hard part is finding time for it — tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the day after the day after tomorrow, and so on.

What Went Wrong Last November

Tomorrow will not be the first time I try to accomplish the NaNo-mission. I first participated in NaNoWriMo last year, but I didn’t get past 15 November and obviously didn’t get to 50'000 words.

So why did I stop halfway through last year?

This is what happened:

I had made a daily wordcount plan before November even started. I planned out every single day of the month, averaging 1'667 words a day. However, I had a couple of ‘free’ days and ‘light days’ planned because I knew there would be days on which I wouldn’t get to write.

I love making plans. Unfortunately, I seldom stick to them, and NaNoWriMo was no exception. The first two weeks went well; I didn’t miss a single day. Then I went to the German Open Championships of Irish Dancing, which were the first two free days on my plan.

I enjoyed my free days and focussed on my dancing instead, which is what I had to do. I wanted to do well at the championships more than I wanted to write. Dancing is my first priority and I would always choose dancing over writing, but that’s a different story. The point is that I was allowed to skip writing on those two days.

I know, everybody tells us we should write every day and make no exceptions — if we want to build a habit. I’m sure that’s true, but I believe it’s a surefire way into burning out and falling out of love with writing if done too rigidly. Thus, I thoroughly believe that breaks are a good think.

But maybe not during #NaNoWriMo…

It’s Hard to Get Back

It’s hard to get back on track after you’ve had a break. In my case, it was even harder because I started a new job the day after I got back from the championships. The first few days demanded all my attention and brain power as I was trying to remember all the names, learn new things and process the flood of new information.

So I ended up skipping a few more days. The days on which I didn’t write quickly added up to a week, which left me with a shockingly high number of words to make up for. This scared me too much and so I just stopped my NaNo-project. I didn’t even try to finish it. I put it away and haven’t touched it since.

(I will, however, get back to it tomorrow. That manuscript will be my starting point for this year’s NaNoWriMo.)

Believe me, I really don’t think that breaks are evil. But the point of NaNoWriMo is to write as much as you can during a very short period of time. NaNoWriMo is meant to be a condensed burst of writing. So this year I won’t allow myself any breaks.

I wish all you NaNos out there a successful and fun November. I’d love to hear your plans and ideas for this year’s NaNoWriMo!