It’s that time of year again, and, as November fast approaches, and while many are absorbed in Halloween and Blogween Reads, a few of us that also write are planning for NaNoWriMo. For those of you unfamiliar with NaNo (as it’s affectionately known) it’s a month-long writing competition in which you challenge yourself to write 50k words in 30 days.
I’ve taken part in NaNoWriMo from the first year it started. That’s not to say I’ve finished each and every year with a completed manuscript. I haven’t. Maybe the first few times I entered, I was intent on achieving the magical 50k. But then I realised I could put NaNo to better use as a means of kick-starting new or languishing projects. The whole point is to make me focus on one story at a time, which is where I have trouble—as an endless ideas machine, I never stop scribbling down plots and scenarios.
I have no problems starting a project, but I do have problems focusing on one project at a time, and on not being distracted … oh, look, shiny!
The other problem I have is stopping. Yes, you read right. I once started a short story, that became a novella, that morphed into an epic and moved into a trilogy and, yes, you guessed it, is still on-going. Your guess is as good as mine as to when I will run out of steam and wrap it up.
But there in lies the fun, for me at least, in writing. I love world-building. I love the act of creation, and fashioning a world out of strands of imagination and fragments of ‘What-If’. And, through words, making it all coalesce on the page or, these days, a screen.
All this to say, I’m having a hard time deciding on how to best utilise NaNo this year. Do I resurrect an old project and get back in the saddle? Or do I start afresh, given I have a large list of ideas. Or, do I set my focus on the latest novel I wrote a prologue for—DECEPTION POINT—and see where that one takes me?
Meanwhile, I know Joe, over at J.W. Martin, is doing NaNo this year, but who else out there is thinking of joining in?