As those of you who follow me on Instagram may have already seen, this year I have decided to do NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is, in essence, a challenge to write 50,000 words. Despite being an avid and passionate writer, I have never actually taken part in NaNoWriMo before. Well, alright, that’s not completely true, but two years ago was such a disaster that I don’t even think it counts in the realm of ‘trying’.
So, with an amazing community behind me, I decided that this year would be my year. Seeing as I am doing my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, I thought now would be the perfect time to write as much as possible. Unlike everyone else, however, I decided not to upload my novel to the internet, as it is something deeply personal and a project I am developing on my course.
Coincidently and with no planning at all, I am also doing my week of no Netflix, which is actually going really well. I was a little nervous at first, 1,667 words a day is no mean feat after all. However, just over a week in and I find myself loving the challenge. The thing I have truly come to love about this challenge is that you can make it your own. If 50,000 words feel like a lot for you, then lower the word count. If you want the drive to work on something else, then use this as a month of planning or character development. The possibilities are endless.
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So, what am I included in the number count?
Well, this blog post for a start. With other projects to work on outside of my novel, I have decided to include other forms of creative writing into my NaNoWriMo word counts, such as blog posts and short stories. Ideally, every single word typed would go towards my novel. This, however, is largely unrealistic. Some days I’ll type up pages upon pages of novel gold, while the others are spent throwing letters onto the page and hoping to make some beautiful and profound sentence that will one day win me the Pulitzer Prize. (Ah, one can dream.)
How Are you doing so far?
Surprisingly well! With the mark just behind us, I’m pretty close to staying on target. I’m actually really proud of myself. As a woman continuously distracted and overexcited by the next potential opportunity, I have been known, at times, to let projects fall by the wayside, for me, this is a great milestone. Although this probably has more to do with the lack of Netflix in my life than I would care to admit.
How are you keeping track?
Due to the fact that my words will mainly be going towards my novel, I have decided not to put it online this year. Alternatively, and thanks to much inspiration found online, I have drawn a NaNoWriMo word tracker in my writing journal. I’m really enjoying this form of tracking progress so far and I would like to incorporate it into other areas of my life for its ease and simplicity.
Keep yourself motivated by surrounding yourself with like-minded people. NaNoWriMo and writing a novel, in general, are not easy tasks to undertake and come with a particular stress. Self-care is also important. While getting those words down on paper is important, it will never be more important than your health. So sleep well, drink lots of tea and treat yourself to some biscuits while you’re at all.