Ever since I’ve known about NANOWRIMO I’ve wanted to participate. To me, it seemed a perfect way to get a novel written. I never got around to doing it though. Now, as I’m writing nearly every day, and as I’m dedicating myself to the life of an amateur writer, I’ve realized I’m at a good position to decide if I will participate.
I think it’s unlikely that my readers don’t know about NANOWRIMO, but I’ll give a brief explanation of what it is anyway. NANOWRIMO stands for National Novel Writing Month. The core idea is to get both professional and amateur writers to write the first draft of a novel in a month. There’s prep involved, of course, and it’s really intense work. I mean, writing an 80,000 word first draft, the length expected for something in my genre, would take about 2,667 words a day for 30 days. That’s an insane amount of dedication. So I really do admire those who complete their drafts during that month.
Ultimately, the answer is no. I won’t be participating in NANOWRIMO. I’m finally getting adjusted to a new writing process where I am writing slowly. I’m writing material that I think has much more quality than it would’ve if I wrote it quickly. Writing slowly gave me more time to play with my work in progress. It allowed me to toy with concepts and ideas until things felt right. NANOWRIMO is really the antithesis to my current process. I’ve got a novel plan, 16,000 words of source material but I’ll never get up to 2,667 words a day. I’m much more happy spending an hour or two writing anywhere between 300-1000 words. It gives me much more liberty to play. It makes me more creative.
Those 16,000 words of “source material” came from my first attempt at a novel. I was writing about 1,500 – 2,000 words a day five days a week and the work became something I didn’t like. It did, however, give me something that I am happy to use as material for my next attempt at the idea. I work much more slowly. Some writers can work quickly and some work slowly. Being in the former makes me unable to participate in the month nor would I really want to. I have nothing but respect for people who decide to participate but NANOWRIMO is not for me. People need to remember that there are slow writers and they’re no less a writer for deciding not to participate in NANOWRIMO.
On a completely separate note, I’ve been talking a lot about expanding the content of my blog. I’ve brought in weekly posts instead of having you wait for the next time I have a short story ready. Because of this effort you have Write-Up Wednesdays and Fiction Analysis on Fridays. I want to go one step further. I want to blog a M, W, F schedule. Blogging this way will give me the ability to be more present in my own blog and give people a look into the life of a amateur writer. The problem is, I have no idea what I’d do for my Monday posts. So I’m doing what I usually do when I’m unsure: crowd sourcing opinions. I want the readers of my blog Writings by Ender, to leave me comments on what type of content I should post on Mondays. What sort of concept should I play with on Mondays? No idea is off limits, so please leave a comment below.