Friday, November 1, 2013
All I want for NaNo
I'm doing National Novel Writing Month again this year, though who knows how it will go.
I started this year with a lot of goals for my writing. So far, some have been checked off the list, some are in a holding pattern that I can't talk about quite yet, and others are looking more and more unlikely to be finished in 2013. But with NaNoWriMo, I've got an opportunity to work on something totally new -- a couple of novella ideas that I've had rolling around in my brain for awhile.
It's sometimes hard, trying to be a professional writer while also being a professional anything-else. Having goals helps.
In my ideal world, I become a hybrid author--someone who is both traditionally and self-published. I'd love to put out two books a year, but knowing how slow I draft, it's more likely to be one. I love smaller, independent publishers, but who wouldn't also love to be published by one of the Big 5?
But in order to be a successful hybrid author, you have to be able to write more than I am currently writing. Successful self-published authors generally get that way by putting out multiple books a year. That's not even counting the books I'd hope to get traditionally published. And between my regular job and regular life, I am very lucky to finish one book every year.
Is there a way to change this? Everyone has heard the story of James Joyce writing just 6 words a day some days. On some level, writing is an art. It can't be rushed, and you can't change your normal instincts. For example, I am a character-girl. I have lots of ideas for plots, but until I hear the voice of my main character, I don't get too far in my drafting. That's just the way I think.
But on another level, writing is a skill, and like any skill, it can be improved. Not just the quality of your writing--but the actual act of writing. That is how I reformed my pantsing ways and became a plotter (for the record, there is nothing wrong with pantsing -- but when you're a slow drafter like me, it can kill productivity). And now that I've mastered the use of an outline, my next goal is pushing myself to write faster.
So what I am really hoping to get out of NaNoWriMo this year--aside from two novellas--is practice with drafting faster and more efficiently than I normally do. Hopefully by forcing myself to shoot for 1,667 words a day for 30 days, I will get in the habit of tapping in to my inner speed-writing demon.
What are you hoping to get out of NaNoWriMo? And if not you're not doing NaNo, what are you hoping to get done in this, the second-to-last month of 2013?
PS: If you'd like to support NaNoWriMo and some great authors, check out The Spirit of Christmas Anthology. All proceeds go to NaNoWriMo and inspiring artists to chase their dreams.
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