Aww yeah. It’s that time of year again. Writers around the globe are preparing for a month of voluntary, literary stress. A month where we ignore our friends and families in favor of our laptops and coffee. A month of planning, scrapping and more planning along with writing a crazy amount of everything in a frantic attempt to get a stable plot. A month, yes indeed, where we try to write an entire novel in a single month.
For those of you who aren’t yet aware, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the premise is simple: write a 50,000-word novel in a single month. This is held in November of every month, but some people have branched off and made their own for almost every other month of the year. I personally have also taken part in AugNoWriMo. You can probably guess what that means.
Getting it all done, however, is not so simple. For those of you who have tried writing a novel before, you know that there’s a lot to do before you even get writing. Luckily you’re allowed to do your planning before the month begins, but you can’t start writing until November hits, so that’s when the true challenge begins. The NaNo process usually ends up happening in a few stages.
1. Oh yes, I got this. You’re confident. You’re on top of the world. You’re ahead of the recommended word count and you’re blazing on ahead. You are winning and you are awesome.
2. Hmm. Where do I go from here? Okay, you’re a little stuck. You hadn’t planned on things moving this quickly and you haven’t thought this far ahead. But it’s okay, you can make it, as long as you… just…
3. This sucks. I need to delete half my book. No, don’t do that. Well, you can, but then you’d have even more to write. Now you’re getting a little behind and you’re struggling to choose between going back and editing or pushing on ahead.
4. Oh god why. You’re definitely behind. Your plot is stuck. The month is over halfway over and you have absolutely no clue what to do. You hate your characters. You hate your book. You hate yourself. And your characters and book aren’t fond of you either.
5. All right, heck with this, ON WE GO, YOLO. It’s time for the victory charge. Your last minute motivation has kicked in and you’re writing like no one has ever written before. Disregarding the fact that you’re going to punish yourself for using YOLO even once in your life once you’re finished, you write and write until, just barely, you make it across the finish line and win your year’s NaNo.
So yes. NaNo is fun and exhausting and stressful and full of anxiety. Holy hell is it ever worth it. I’ve got my plot chosen and I’m now fleshing out the details, getting ready for the oncoming storm. I’ve been doing this for years and years now, and I love (almost) every minute of it.
Are any of you doing NaNo this year? Have you got all your stuff planned out, or are you going to wing it? Do any of you fine peoples want to be my friend?
I look forward to seeing you out there! For everyone else, you probably won’t be seeing me during November. Maybe I’ll come around to demonstrate just how many of the above steps I’m currently experiencing. I apologize in advance.