So I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those not familiar with the lengthy abbreviation, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is in November. It’s when a bunch of people attempt to write 50k words in one month, which is what is considered to be “novel” length, although loads of novels are in the 100k+ ballpark, especially in fantasy.
I wasn’t intending to join up with NaNo initially. After all, I’ve been working on editing the project I finished back in August. The trouble is, well, editing hasn’t been going so swimmingly. I felt burnt out on the story. I gave myself a two week break before working on it, but that clearly wasn’t enough. Every time I pulled out the story to edit, a wave of anxiety would paralyze me. What if I do the wrong thing? What if I make it worse? What if I can’t edit at all?
For whatever reason, it didn’t click that what I needed was a break. And what better way to take a break than to attempt to write 50k on a brand new story?
Okay, so I thought this was a horrible idea. But the Bookworm goaded me into it, and I signed up and started writing on November 1st. I thought I’d experiment with pantsing a plot, and therefore didn’t outline a thing. Surely I’d crash and burn before I hit to 2k. And then a funny thing happened.
I kept writing.
Now I’m into day five and over 8k, still going strong. There’s still no outline, although I know how it ultimately ends. It’s also not my usual genre. I thought I’d never write all that much on it, so I decided to try my hand at writing something gothic. What can I say? It’s that time of year. And strangely, I’m really into it.
I may not “win” NaNo. I may never finish this pantser gothic novel. But it’s been awesome at reminding me why I love writing in the first place. And I think, when November ends, I’ll be ready to tackle those edits. If I come out with a chunk of a new novel in the meantime, I’ll just call it a win-win.