After six years of writing books for a living, I’m finally taking the plunge that is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as the cool kids call it.
Basically, you write a 50,000 word (or more) novel in November and post regular word counts so other writers (and readers, if they’re so inclined) can follow along.
The idea is that being part of this big public thing, along with many thousands of other writers, plus the public accountability of posting word counts, will help you finish your book.
While I’ve been somewhat prolific since I started writing with Sean Platt professionally in 2011, for most of my life I’ve had difficulty finishing a book.
I’ve abandoned hundreds of stories.
It wasn’t until I HAD to finish a book, when I had a writing partner counting on me, when I had bills stacking up, that I was actually able to cross the finish line.
And since then, Sean and I have written a LOT of words. Eight series, a handful of standalone books, more than twenty short stories, a movie script, and more.
While I’ve written millions of words since 2011, nearly every book is a challenge. In fact, I slowed down quite a bit at some point in 2015.
Most of 2016 was a slog for me, creatively and personally. I suffered some of the worst depression of my adult life.
While depression can inspire some great stories, it can also make it difficult to actually get writing done.
Anxiety, fear of sucking, fear of not having anything “original” to say, and countless other things all get in my way when it comes to writing.
While I got my groove back this year with the No Justice series, in addition to a few other projects, I’m still looking to get on a regular schedule, and have daily words … rather than struggling for weeks and then pounding out ten thousand words in one weekend to hit a deadline.
So, I’m entering NaNoWriMo to prove to myself, to Sean (who is also doing NaNo to support me), and to our readers, that I can finish a story in 30 days.
I’ll be posting regular updates on my blog. I’ll also be posting daily word counts over at my NaNo page:
If you’re doing NaNo feel free to add me as a buddy. Again, this is my first year, so I’m not sure what all people usually do. But I’m looking forward to kicking ass.
[Photo courtesy of Nilufer Gadgieva]