Wednesday, December 11, 2013

No no, NaNoWriMo

In November, I announced that I would attempt two writing goals at the same time: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). As you can tell by looking at last month’s posts, I succeeded at the former. The latter...not so much.

Needless to say, I did not partake of this cake.
Photo credit: cvillewrimos (Flickr)
My participation in NaNoWriMo consisted of fitful writing on paper and a few pages in Word.
It looked like this.
I learned two facts about myself.

One, I cannot achieve two major writing goals in a month. And have a busier-than-average-for-this-year freelance slate. And help take care of our neighbor. And do all the other things I need to do.

Two, the NaNoWriMo format does not work – for me.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000-word (or more) novel in the thirty days of November. I did some calculations, and this is what it means:

50,000 words divided by thirty days equals (approximately) 1,667 words per day.

A letter-sized (8.5 x 11 inches) page of words in Courier New font, double-spaced (the usual standard for writing submissions) adds up to about 250 words.

1,667 words divided by 250 equals approximately 6.7 pages per day.

Now, I can write 6.7 pages of fiction on any given day.

I am not sure about writing 6.7 pages of fiction every day for a month – on top of all the other things I must do.

But you know what?

That’s OK.

I don’t need NaNoWriMo to write a novel. Most writers don’t.

If you were to average just one page a day for a whole year, you would end up with 365 pages (on non-leap years). 365 times 250 equals 91,250 words – way above the NaNoWriMo minimum of 50,000.

(Did you notice that there’s more math in this post than in the previous 262 combined?)

If I take just half a year, or six months, I’ll just need to write two pages a day.

Hey...I can do that.

If I keep it in mind...and just do it.

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