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.  

To sign up for the "All I Want for NaNo" bloghop, sign up below:


  1. A need for speed is a worthy wish in this creed. I hope you achieve your goal this month, and thank you for participating in our holiday hop! :)

  2. This is a great goal to come out of NaNo 2013 with. Your idea about being a 'hybrid' author is exactly where my mind is at right now. Do a little bit of everything. But you're right. To do that, we have to release books, often.

    Good luck!

  3. Nice, Ru! I think that's an admirable wish. I hope you get it!

  4. Thanks for the comments, guys :)

  5. Good luck to you with it all!! :D Happy NaNo-ing! I definitely want to draft faster at times also.

  6. Good luck and Happy NaNo! I'm in it this year, too, but haven't started writing yet...

  7. I can imagine maybe revising only 6 words a day, but only writing 6? Nahhhhh. I like to get it all spewed out onto the page, and then work from there. :D

  8. The first year I did NaNo, I wasn't sure I could write that fast. The next year, I tried to write more than 50k, and I failed. But then I kept trying. Now it's only been 3 days and I have 10k. Just like anything else it takes practice. You can do it!! Thanks for joining my hop :D