For the past four years, I’ve been an eager participant in National Novel Writing Month. My first time out, in 2009, I was a “winner” with 53,000 words on a fanfic writing project. In 2010, I wrote 63,000 words that ended up as my first novel, Sand & Water.
The past two years, I haven’t gotten very far at all. I’ve tried two different projects and made little progress on either one (though one of them ended up as Unfortunate Son, which releases in January 2015). I don’t think my failure to finish the last two years means I’m done with NaNo by any means, but this year, I decided to step off the treadmill, for several reasons.
Reason one is simple: I have a short story due at the end of November, so even if I did sign up, I’d have to go in as a “rebel” and work on something else along with that to get to the 50k marker. I also have releases coming up in December and January, so I’ll be working on getting things together for blog posts and such. Finding time to write 50,000 words just isn’t going to be on the table this time.
That’s not to say that I won’t be working on other writing projects. Book three of the Sons series is due at the end of March, so I’ll be getting started on that soon. I’ve also had a back-burner (excuse the pun) story centered around barbecue cooking competitions, so I’m going to go to a competition in November to do research (and eat some yummy, yummy barbecue, of course). Plus, I have an M/F novel idea I’d like to take a shot at, possibly to have ready to pitch at RWA in July.
(And then there’s the whole YA thing to consider. Nessa won’t stop poking me!)
So yeah, I have plenty to work on in November, and beyond. It’s just not going on the wall on the NaNo site. Maybe in 2015, my schedule will line up right again, and I can jump back in. But either way, I hope everyone who is doing NaNo next month has a great time with it. It’s hard work, but even when I haven’t been a winner, I’ve always had fun with it. 🙂
I admire anyone who can do NaNo–I tried it once and it was a disaster–but then my usual writing technique is to do lots of massaging of the text as I go–something NaNo discourages. Sounds like you have plenty on your plate as it is, though–a “NaNo’s” amount of work lined up! Giving it a pass this year seems like the best plan!