The first year I did NaNoWriMo, I jumped in without a plan. I’d only heard about it two days before it was set to start, so I signed up and just started writing. Every year since then, I’ve tried to at least map out some ideas in October to make the November 1st start-up easier.
This has never worked. I have never written as much or as easily as I did in year one. That first year, I wrote almost 100,000 words in 30 days. I’m still not sure how I did that. Ok, it was worst writing ever (well, almost the worst … I think the mystery/crime/thriller I started writing when I was 17 was definitely worse), but it was a novel, and it held together, and I did it. Every year since then has been much harder and I’ve only once managed to squeak through with 50K by November 30th.
I attribute these less then stellar showings to my attempts to organize in advance … and also to my completely insane attempts to write something good. I figured that, since it had been so ‘easy’ to write 100,000 words the first time around, maybe if I slowed down and wrote a little less, I could write something I didn’t think was crap. Wrong. So very, very wrong. I’ve written bits that I’ve liked very much each of these last years, but worrying about good writing and worrying about word counts just don’t mesh. Trying to force inspiration every day for a month works about as badly as you’d imagine.
This year? I haven’t had any time for any advance planning, so I’m diving in without a clue. As for trying to write something good … well, that kind of noble effort will have to be saved for some other opus. My next grant proposal, perhaps. For NaNo, I’m just interested in cranking out the text.
At this moment, I’ve got 2,500 words, which is more than the 1,667/day that I have to hit to make 50K, so I’m pleased. Already banking words for the bad days ahead!