NaNoWriMo 2015: Let's Do This!
Is anyone else thinking of doing NaNoWriMo this year? Maybe for the first time ever?
I’m a little nervous, but I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” That’s what people say when they want you to pace yourself right? Except I suspect that me doing NaNoWriMo is going to look kind of like this:
Writing on a deadline is probably one of the few activities in the world that can feel like both a marathon AND a sprint. Just think back to the last time you started a paper at the last minute. It’s midnight––8 hours before you have to turn in your paper at school. It’s a sprint, because you finish this paper tonight, or not at all. No matter how tired you are, you just have no more time to waste. So roll out your shoulders, break out the Monster Gatorade, and get your adrenaline on.
It’s going to be a long night.
...because it’s also going to feel like marathon. After all, when was the last time you concentrated this hard for so many consecutive hours? And just like a marathon, you will find yourself fighting off exhaustion/sleep deprivation with only one thing: the resolve to keep going.
And NaNoWriMo is king of the writing marathon. 50,000 words in 30 days. That breaks down to roughly 1,667 words per day.
Totally, but I just keep trying to remind myself that the word count is the only requirement, and all you need is the resolve: keep going! It’s like with that paper you have due the next day. By the time it’s 3 a.m., all you’re worrying about is stringing together coherent sentences that make grammatical sense––crafting a bulletproof argument is really no longer a priority. Your story doesn’t need to be perfect, or your characters final, or your plot without some holes.
Because unlike that paper, which is out of your hands once it’s with the teacher, NaNoWriMo doesn’t have to be the end. Once you’ve finished your novel, you can always go back and edit it, however many times you want, but you do need to have written the novel in the first place in order to edit it. For inspiration, check out Erin’s post on all these writers whose books first started out as NaNoWriMo winners!
Personally, I’m one of those writers whose intense fear of commitment and of the blank page result in a very disjointed sort of writing indeed. I freeze up, I write at a snail’s pace, I obsess over irrelevant details, and by the end of three hours I’ll have written three sentences. And by tomorrow I’ll have moved on to an entirely new idea for my first novel—if I ever get around to writing it…
So I’ve decided. It’s time I try the NaNoWriMo challenge, barrel through my obsessive need for planning and perfectionism, and write. And keep going. Because you will surprise yourself with just how far you can go, how much you can do, when you cross that 50,000-word finish line. You will surprise yourself even if you don’t, even if you only make it part of the way. Most of all, you will learn by doing. Because I know the only way I’m ever going to break out of my writing paralysis is to write: quickly, furiously, and with complete abandon.
So who’s with me? NaNoWriMo 2015!!