Scared, but taking the plunge!

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, in which thousands of basically insane people attempt to write a novel-length manuscript in 30 days. That’s 50,000 words or an average of 1,667 words per day!

For a slow writer like me, that’s a helluva goal. So I’ve decided to give it a try!

I’m going to be traveling in November so I’m hoping to write a LOT in the first 10 days, not at all on my 2 airplane travel days, and then less on the remaining days. And maybe schedule in another 1-2 days off.

I’m still playing around with the math … does anyone have a handy NaNoWrMo algorithm or calculator that lets you play around with different ways of reaching 50,000?

Here’s a rough plan so far:

What do you think? Does that seem realistic, or at least somewhat possible? Advice?

Also, I’ve decided to give myself permission right now to totally, absolutely, completely “lose” — that is, fail to reach the 50,000 word goal. Having just moved halfway around the world, adapting to a new climate and culture, testing my language skills to the max, etc, I’m not feeling that I need to prove anything. I want to be able to be present for whatever’s going on in life, too. So if I end up not being able to write as much as all that, I figure I’ll at least have several thousand words through the effort, which is more than I’d probably produce otherwise. Hooray for productive failure!

Or, hey, the process could end up being totally exhilarating and exciting, and I could actually “win.” And of course, I do want to win. Who doesn’t want to win? 🙂

Either way, I hope to be able to establish a good rhythm of writing in my new environs… a pattern that will serve me well in the months to come.

I welcome enthusiastic messages, cheers, etc., especially mid-month when I know I’ll be most tempted to quit, because I’ll be on a beautiful beach in Goa!

If you’re a WriMo too, please find me as “minalh” on the NaNoWrMo website, so we can be writing buddies.

3 thoughts on “Scared, but taking the plunge!

  1. Thanks Kristy, I’m so glad we get to be buddies! And thanks for that permission — I kinda knew that but my little brain was trying to sidestep it with some messed-up logic, like Of course everybody else can write 50,000 words of crap, but I MUST WRITE GENIUS OR IT DOESN’T COUNT. lol.

    My permission slip:

    I, Minal Hajratwala, have permission to write Very Bad Non-Consecutive Internally Contradictory Not-Sure-It’s-Even-In-the-Same-Universe Unintentionally-Defies-the-Laws-of-Physics-OOPS Prose Spelled Incorrectly all month until I reach 50,000 words …

    at which point I may, if I so choose, resume my natural habit of restricting myself to only pure genius output (haha).

    Ah, I feel better now.

    Mary Anne — just read your blog post — congrats on finishing the book! And since you are clearly insane anyway, why the hell not? 🙂 For a break, you could go get a writer’s manicure per Kristy’s recommendation:

    Yay writers!

  2. I admit, I’m supposed to finish the YA novel this weekend, and I’m sort of tempted to try drafting book 2 in the series in November. Is that crazy? Should I give myself a break, or try to ride the momentum?

  3. Weeeee! I saw this headline on yesterday’s feed and have been saving a slow, savoring read of your announcement and plan until I could give it my full, cheerleaderish attention.

    Hip-hip-hurrah! Hip-hip-hurrah!

    Okay, I just WriMo-Buddy’d you. And here’s what I have to say about all that winning and losing talk. I want you to win, and you can totally win. Instead of giving myself permission to lose, I give myself permission to write 50,000 lousy words. That way, I still get permission but I still WIN!

    And your calendar. Good. Very good! I like how you even have breathing room. Such a smart planner! What I do is pick the days I DON’T want to write, count up what’s left, and divide by fifty-thousand.

    So fun! So fun! Welcome!

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