Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wow. Two weeks? NaNoWriMo jitters

Times flies when you're having fun. Or busy. Or busy having fun!

I've been writing. Trying to write a story a week, and succeeding more often than not. I'm also gearing up for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it's often called. The object, for those of you who don't already know, is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days--in November, specifically.

I've not attempted a novel before. But it's time. I've been writing short stories, and I've sold a couple, but novels are where it's at if you want to be a professional fiction writer, or so I'm told. It may be technically possible to make a real living writing short fiction, but it's going to be a tougher row to hoe than writing novels.

Short stories appear in one issue of a magazine, or an anthology, and then they're gone. Oh, it's possible that they can be resold--and they often will be, especially if you are (or become) a big name writer. But they're more ephemeral than novels. This may not be quite so true in th e-publishing world, where even shorts remain available for purchase for two or three years, maybe more. But in traditional publishing? There it is.

Novels, on the other hand, can remain in print for as long as they're selling. They can be sold to foreign markets. They can be resold and reprinted if they go out of print. (Again, this is easier if you're a name author, but if a publisher thinks they can make money from a previously published novel, they'll buy it.)

So. Novels. I'm still hammering out exactly what my novel will be, but I intend to write it this coming November. It's a little frightening to contemplate. A whole novel? Am I insane! But as has been pointed out by others, you can't eat an elephant all in one bite--but a bite at a time is quite doable. That's what I have to remember. I don't have to pour out a whole novel's worth of words (and characters and plots and settings and conflicts and dialogue and action) all in one go.

A mere 1,667 words each day for 30 days will generate 50,000 words at the end of the month. If I write only five days a week, taking weekends off, that's 2,380 words a day. Also eminently doable. I can do this. I will do this!

I'll just keep reciting my mantra: "I'm not nervous, I'm excited!"


  1. You can totally do it! Fingers to keyboard and write!

  2. This is my 4th year. So far I've crossed the finish line every time. You can do this! If you're finding it hard to stay motivated, you can always treat yourself to something nice if, and only if you win.

  3. The way I look at it, you have nothing to lose. What's the worst that can happen? You do some lesser number of words. You've still done that work. Which is a win as far as I'm concerned. For me, it will be a challenge to turn off the internal editor, but I need to try.

  4. Thanks for the encouraging comments. I'm a little worried about tackling this project, yes, but--nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say. If I don't do it, I won't write a novel. If I try and fail, I won't have a novel. But only if I try does the possibility of success enter the picture.

    I'm not nervous--I'm excited!