Every year, when November draws near, I sit back and watch the cheerful madness unwind. As National Novel Writing Month approaches, it seems like everyone’s doing their “NaNo-prep”, making sure they’re ready to hit the ground running as soon as the last minute of October passes.
And every year so far, after some thought and consideration, I decided it wasn’t for me. Even though it left that “alienated” feeling when your Twitter explodes with celebrations of writing progress and desperate scrambling for words, I preferred my own year-long challenge with the 365 Writing Club.
Being a part of 365 Writing Club
I shake my head when I realize it’s been three years now since I started participating in the Club. It taught me volumes about my process, and it had a significant role in building my daily writing routine. I learned to push through the slumps and balance editing with creating new content. And even though there are days or weeks of struggle, I’m comfortable. I understand how I write and I can keep going.
That gets me thinking, I need a new challenge to push myself a bit further.
A new challenge?
I might have written 365,000 words within a year, I’d never written as much as 50,000 words within a month. It also has been a long time since I focused all my attention on one project – a rule that some “NaNo rebels” ignore, but I would be following.
Both these things seem impossible to me, but in the past, so was building a routine of daily writing. You might even recall that I expected to fail the Club within the first month. So, I could try to focus on one project and prove to myself that I can have half a novel written within a month.
Or maybe no?
Even though I know I’m able to write about 40,000 words within a month, and in the past I got as much as 30,000 in one project, but 2018 has been so far a year of struggles, changes, and new challenges already. Constantly falling behind with my goal for 365 Writing Club, and averaging 500 words a day instead of my set 1000, I’m nowhere near the numbers that would make my NaNoWriMo successful.
I keep going back and forth whether such a challenge would actually help me get out from my writing slump, or be the proverbial nail in the coffin in my attempts to regain my writing flow. My cautious side is whispering I shouldn’t take it on, but at the same time, something fresh to challenge me might just do the trick.
So yes or no?
As you can guess, even so close to the starting line, I haven’t decided yet. I’ll likely make the decision in the last possible minute, and in the past, it would almost always mean “no”. But if you’re following me on social media, you know that this month I’d taken on a drawing challenge, for the first time ever participating in Inktober, and I’d been drawing daily.
With that in mind, I’m revisiting my notes and ideas for the Spirit’s Anchor, a project I’d be writing (or rewriting – from scratch) if I decide to join the NaNo-madness. And if I don’t… This novel still needs to be written, so a fresh and detailed outline will not go to waste, right?
How about you? Are you planning to join NaNoWriMo? Have you participated in it in the previous years? Did you win? Share your thoughts – you might tip the scales of my decision.
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.