I never quite know if I want to participate in National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo. My guess is that for many writers it has become an annual tradition after its twenty years of existence. I don’t know that for certain. I do know that by 1999 I had started The Forget-Me-Nots before it bore this title. It took seventeen years to finish and publish that first endeavor. Although I hadn’t a clue a motivational movement for writing a novel in a month started that year on July 1, it’s no wonder thirty days never seems like enough time.
But, I do consider participating. I simply choose to do so differently.
- Finish what I’ve started: There have been a few times when I have had a goal to finish and/or publish what I’ve been working on throughout that year. November becomes my denouement.
- Keep count: Some years getting words on the page–any page–is the objective. When we home educated full-time, my kitchen table was often my desk, and I would scribble down what I could between lessons.
- Set personal goals: I tend to set goals on a regular basis. But, they are often loftier than I am able to complete in a month. I also get defeated quickly if I miss a day. So, I try to spend times getting set before I get going. That may mean having a full outline or a few character sketches ready.
- Start a novel: Then, there are times when a fresh idea or a sequel presents itself, and I am counting down the days until November 1.
- Take a month off: Life happens. My life happened in November. So, gifting myself the month to take a break after finishing a writing project, to prepare for upcoming holidays, to move “to-read” books into the “read” category, to focus on my hobbies, or to simply live sound like better goals than writing a novel that might never come to life.
So, what’s my plan?
I do have one. In some form, it will combine all of the above. I hope to finish something that counts for something and fulfills a personal goal. I will start something, and I may take a break from something else. Something will happen. Maybe something new. Maybe simply life.
I’ll let you know around December 1.