Last year, I thought about participating in NaNoWriMo but felt I had too much going on and didn't do it. This year, I still have a lot going on, but I don't think that will change any time soon. Now's as good as any time. So I'm totally in!
This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo. I'm not officially signing up through the website, but I am going to post about it here to keep myself accountable. I guess I waited until now to post about it because I was still testing the waters with daily word count goals to see how I felt about it. Turns out, I'm having a lot of fun so far.
Here is how everything has gone up to this point.
1. Early October -- decided on a story I had been mulling over for a while.
2. Created a schedule with daily word count goals.
3. Halloween night -- watched an old movie that totally inspired me with a new story.
4. November 1 -- start COMPLETELY from scratch.
Starting on day one from scratch is interesting. So far, I really like to just sit down and write and see where it takes me. As I write, I imagine everything in my mind like I'm watching a movie. I meet characters and get to know them. I get a feel for my protagonist's journey. And when I come to moments in my story where I feel like an important detail needs to be inserted, I insert it. I do a lot of planning and plot weaving in my head, knowing how I want it to end and what themes I want to bring out. I know the main plot points I want to hit, but mostly, I just write to see how the story will get there. Will I go back and edit? No question, but for NaNoWriMo, this fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants method is totally working for me. It's day 6, and I'm over 10,700 words (Whoop, whoop!). I'm excited to say that I've met each of my daily writing goals so far. In fact, I've slightly exceeded them! And by the way, I'm taking Sundays off, which does raise the word count goals on other days, but that doesn't bother me. Here is a pic of my calendar tracker/schedule that I made in excel. It's got the daily goals and weekly totals and another row for actual words written that day along with the final total actual word count.
If you are on the fence about trying NaNoWriMo this month, I don't think it's too late. Let's say you only end up with 30,000 words instead of the 50,000 recommended by novel writing the challenge. That's still 30,000 more words than you might otherwise write without the commitment. Ideally, you would want to plan your story out a bit, but I say just go for it! You might surprise yourself and write 60,000!
Just create a schedule, set daily goals, and anticipate challenges!
Look at me giving advice as if I've done this before! I'll admit, I'm still new at this, so send me a note if you have some ideas to share. I guess I'll learn what works and what doesn't, but I'm keeping it simple.