Pre-NaNoWriMo 2013 Update

So, NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us, just days to go.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to fit it in later in the month. There’s a lot going on in my life, in most aspects of my life in fact.

Problem is, I need to keep challenges tough. In fact they need to be borderline unbeatable. That pressure I’ve found is absolutely necessary for me to win. Once 50,000 words was too much, now 100,000 looks easy. 150,000 should be doable, and 200,000 falls into the possible if I try hard category. Now, I know, or at least suspect that the level of effort I can put in is curtailed as I mentioned. So, I’ve thought really hard about how to challenge myself. Tiered targets, one of which is definitely borderline achievable, then the others taper off allowing for the shifting sands of fate upon my writing time.
Challenge 1) the most daunting, and potentially silly. Partly because I’m doing it to see if can beat someone, partly because even I don’t think it’s possible. The challenge is a day one win. 50,000 before midnight on first.

To make it easier, I have however booked the day of work, I’ll be going to bed early, and rising just in time for the 1st of November to officially start in the UK. I’ll probably have a 9am nap. It’s all perfectly possible if you get a strong start, and I’m sure knowing where I need to take those first 50,000 words will help.

Challenge 2) nice and simple, with two weekend days, but work on all the others, another 50,000 words by the end of the following 7 days.

Challenge 3) a final 50,000 by the 30th November.

All challenges are exclusive, so challenge 2 is 50,000 regardless of how many I manage to achieve in challenge 1,and challenge 3 is always 50,000 regardless of what I achieve in previous two tasks.

These are just word count challenges, I’ll find and/or steal challenges along the way, to keep it interesting and fun.

So now I’m done bragging about the size of my target, I should probably discuss something practical. I want to cover off preparation separately, and then there’s technology (a favourite post of mine), and I’d like to discuss what I’m planning to write. No, a far more urgent, (well brief and unimportant), is what I’ll do with my blog during this time.

I won’t be posting everyday, because I need to write fiction, not blogs, and a post every day would basically amount to “Woohoo, x thousand words!” or, alternatively, “Boohoo! X hundred or less words, this sucks!” Neither of which are that much fun, daily. A post the day after the challenges are due sounds fine for word counts, and self aggrandising.

If I post at other times, I’d like to focus on challenges I’ve faced in trying to achieve those targets, lessons learned, funny story, excerpts from the #nanoyorks chat room, because the people there, (the rare troll aside), are so fabulous and great. (Yes, I’m sucking up, but I’m not around much this year so have to do something to keep them liking me).

Right I should get back to planning, have a lovely climate controlled hotel room, no distractions for a few hours, and lovely tea. What more can a writer want for?

To anyone, and everyone taking part in this year’s NaNoWriMo, I wish you all the best, and good luck.

NaNoWriMo 2009 – The Conclusion

So NaNoWriMo 2009 has come and gone, with much heartache, sleepless nights, sore hands, etc, etc…

I have a confession to make – I didn’t finish. This year was not mine for the sweet smell of success. I peaked at 25,000 words (a quarter of my original target). To say I’m disappointed in myself would be an understatement – but equally, I’m not ashamed. Indeed, in many ways I’m quite happy, and proud of myself, during the final weekend, I finally learned to accept I can’t write all the time. I want to, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes there is no way round the fact that without will, inspiration is relegated to frustration.

I really really don’t like failing, but I could have pushed in that final weekend, and pushed, but I would never have hit even the modest target of 50,000, and even if I had. Instead I took a break, having accepted defeat, let go of the pressure – I felt wonderful. So immediately following my return home, I started writing again. Nice and smoothly, and without much effort. In fact I’ve had some late nights, because the writing has being going so well, and I wasn’t aware of the time.

I’m not finishing off my NaNoWriMo project for now, I’ve put it to one side, as my imagination is caught with  a sequel to my previous NaNoWriMo attempt (the one I won last year).

Just shows you, sometimes pressure helps, and other times it hinders – I think for me it’s the accumalative pressures I found myself under with family life, work, money, and writing, it made for some unsurmountable obstacles. Until I let go, and found away to enjoy myself away from the pressure.