So it’s November, which for many means only one thing…National Novel Writing Month. This is my second November Nano, and I did “camp” earlier this year. I failed last year, I failed camp, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be failing this year as well. This is not to say that I’m not writing, far from it. In June of this year, I wrote 60,000 words in a high fantasy novel, then I put it aside to write my latest Xoe Meyer’s book, which came in at around 42,000 words. While writing the Xoe book (Demon Down) I also attempted a romance serial, which turned into a 53,000 word book, “Falling Betwixt”.
I gave myself no deadlines for these works, and had no word count goals, and I enjoyed every second of my writing. Now Nano comes along telling me to write, write, write, and all I want to do is re-read and edit that first 60K of the novel I started in June. I should be working on a fifth Xoe book, and I should be working on the sequel to “Falling Betwixt”, but instead I’m just reading over this novel that has nothing to do with anything, and is causing me to fail at NaNo in the process….and you know what? I don’t care.
Whenever anyone asks me why I’ve never even attempted to submit a book to traditional publishers, this is my answer: I can’t do deadlines. I can’t work on what I don’t want to work on, and frankly doing so only succeeds in pissing me off. While I agree with the idea that sometimes you just have to sit down and force yourself to write, you shouldn’t force yourself into a corner with what you write. Instead, force yourself to work on whatever you’re currently inspired by, even if you have 100K in some epic tome that only needs fifty more pages, If you’re no longer feeling inspired, it’s not going to work out as well as it should. You can sit there and hit the keys at a snail-like pace, or you can switch gears and blaze through that new story that’s been clawing at the back of your brain….or you can edit and and not give a damn about your word-count for the month. Screw pressure and goals on a deadline. All that matters is that you’re working on something you can feel good about.
Consider this my anti-nano pep talk. Word count for the month: 10,000 and not growing at all.