It was NaNo 2003 that got me writing. As a result, even though I didn’t write 50,000 words during the month of November 2003, there is something about the challenge that is near and dear to me. I tried it once or twice after 2003 and each time I’ve achieved less. I simply am not built as a writer to be able to churn words out like that. I think far too much about what I’m writing as I’m writing to be able to just let the words flow. In addition, there are simply too many other demands on my time to be able to commit to the time needed to do this for an entire month. Some of those other demands have been eliminated in recent years — no longer coaching my kids’ soccer teams, for instance. But, damnit … it is just so difficult to find the time.
This year, there’s another hurdle. I have too many works in progress that I want to finish before I turn to something new. I simply cannot let myself turn away from those projects now and start something new. I committed at the beginning of September to the following: finish Deviation in September, finish Northville Five & Dime in October, finish Carlota in November, and then turn to another short series I’m thinking about, before finally returning to one of my half-completed novels. I finished Deviation as planned. I made major progress on Northville, but probably won’t have it done by tomorrow. Probably? Who the hell am I kidding? There’s no way it’s done by tomorrow. I need to be true to these goals I set and not let NaNo distract me.
So, here’s what I’ve decided. I’m going to strive to write 50,000 words in the month of November. First, I’ll complete Northville. I think there’s another 5,000-10,000 words to that story. Once I’ve done that, I’m moving on to Carlota. I’m pretty certain there’s another 10,000-20,000 words there. And, as I get stuck with any of those projects, I’m going to return to Terror in a Small Town. I started this story back in 2007. It involves an Islamic terrorist plot. I didn’t finish it. Since then, I’ve decided to change the terrorists to whacko, right-wing, anti-tax, sovereign citizen loonies who are a burgeoning problem in this country. The result of this is that I need to significantly re-write what I have already written.
Ultimately, I’m probably “cheating” to the extent cheating is possible on NaNo. Splitting the goal up over several different projects, considering re-writing as writing. But, I don’t care. If I can get anywhere near 50,000 words this November, I will have done for more than I expected.
P.S. In looking through my posts on this, I realized that I committed to something remarkably similar last year. Let’s see if I do better this year.