Wednesday, 20 November 2013

NaNoWriMo is Hard

NaNoWriMo, one month to write one 50,000 word novel. It’s easy, right? I mean, I once wrote a 10,000 word fanfiction within a week, so something like NaNoWriMo would be nothing for me… right? Ever since I learned of this beast, I’ve wanted to conquer it. For the last three years I’ve been trying, I really have. I am a novelist dammit. So then, where are my novels to show for it?

I can’t blame my university work on it, because lots of university people do NaNo and they succeed in it. At the same time, I can’t say my failures have nothing to do with the fact that it occurs in the month before deadlines. At the start of next month I have assignments due for three modules, and that isn’t just three simple pieces of work. Then there’s the pitch for the screenwriting class I have to give on Monday. I wouldn’t say any of them are that hard, they just take a lot of time.

Even so, it can’t take up every second of my time, can it? Of course not. Does being in a writing class make me want to write outside of it less? That has been true at times, there is such thing as too much especially with multiple projects going on. Am I just lazy? Of course, I am trying to balance university work with having a social life and maintaining other hobbies, which I think I’m doing pretty well at, but that seems to be leaving me with less time to write a novel, or even this blog at times.

I think the most annoying part this year is that next semester I was hoping to write a novel chapter for prose rather than a short story. We have the option to do either and they recommend going with the short story as there’s arguably less to consider, but for people who would prefer to write novels I think it’s better to work on improving in the area you’re interested in.

In a way I think they can be easier to write than short stories as you have more time to develop plot and character. Of course, novels are longer and as such can require more planning. My plan when we started in September was that I would use NaNoWriMo to come up with a full first draft of a novel so that I’d be able to work on it through the second semester and pick out the best chapter for workshopping. Clearly, as we are now two thirds of the way through the month and I am even closer to my deadlines, that is unlikely to happen.

I truly have so much respect for the people who can successfully do this and full time education/work. Of course, this is a busier month. Which brings me to my next plan. It’s the same as getting on a self-improvement kick in any month other than January, you don’t have to wait until the New Year to make resolutions. You shouldn’t. Goals like this should be taken as they come, or as you have the time for them, while you’re still excited about it. At the very least, the planning stages for such a goal should begin.

I know a number of other people have started doing NaNoWriMo outside of the official month, at all times throughout the year, and I think I shall have to become one of them. Writing for the sake of writing isn’t something I want to do, nor do I want to continue putting off something both fun and beneficial to me. Therefore I have decided to spend December and the start of January creating a full draft of a novel. Seriously, hold me to it.

This gives me the rest of this month to at least decide on a concept for the novel. I also have a number of posts planned for this blog to keep the writing going.

As for those of you who are still participating in NaNoWriMo this month, I wish you luck. Enjoy the feeling of having a project that actually gets completed. And, if you can’t, remember you’re not alone, this is a hard challenge to take on, especially with a lot of other stuff going on, and there are other months you can finish in.

For those of you who have read this far, I thank you for sitting through my little ramble.

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