It’s almost mid-November. That reality makes me anxious because I set a huge writing goal this month. I pledged to finish my book by 11:59 p.m., November 30th. I’m shadowing the National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo) program which is a movement or goal among all levels of writers to produce a 175-page (50,000) word novel in 30 days.
Last year, I participated–, and failed. This year, I decided not to run with the pack. I’m doing my own thing. Going solo. Give me a minute while I climb atop my soapbox and declare that writing is a solitary sport. Just like running. I know there are some folks out there who think it’s better to have a partner for inspiration. I’ve never been one of those people who needs a buddy to inspire me to do what needs to be done. Yeah! I’m self-motivated. That’s right! Self actualized. Preach, my Sistah! [Imaginary audience jumps to their feet cheering me on].
I know what you’re thinking: If I have all those self-driven powers of motivation and accomplishment, why haven’t I finished the book yet? Well, I don’t know–. I’m climbing off the soapbox now. The truth is, even though I’m not officially doing NaNoWriMo with the rest of the writing world, I have to admit that my participation last year helped get me to the point I’m at today. For instance, doing NaNoWriMo prompted me to re-structure my outline and trim extraneous characters from my work.
I’m currently at 26,060 words—with 82 pages. I’m where I should be at this juncture. I’m ahead actually. I have produced 52% of the goal with 3 days to my credit before I hit the true mid-month point: November 15th. I will do it!!!
The following suggestions may help you finish your book quickly–, based upon my failed experiences. I know my credibility will rise exponentially when I finish my book this time! But this is what I’m doing differently to succeed and suggest the same for you:
- Write every day. Seriously. Don’t cheat. Even if it’s a sentence, at least it’s progress.
- Use a voice recorder to capture dialog (conversations) and other details about your characters. Perhaps when you’re driving or getting dressed, you have an epiphany but you’re away from your laptop. Having a recorder will ensure you don’t lose your inspired thoughts.
- Write all the time. I jot down ideas and sentences throughout the day.
- DO NOT go back to edit previous work. This is my downfall. I once spent three hours re-working paragraph one, page one. Crazy. In order to finish the book, it’s vital that you write quantity and not quality, just as NaNoWriMo suggests. The goal is to get the story out of your head, onto the screen and then go back to edit and refine.
- Discover when your mental state is most fluid and write then. I’m more creative and alert in the morning. Other writers may work better at night.
- Check out their website at www.nanowrimo.org.