Let me put it this way: I am and I’m not participating.
Would I love to sit down and write 50,000 words in 30 days, officially or unofficially? Yes!
Do I have enough time what with ballroom dancing, full time co-op job, online course, and pre-learning next term’s material?
Well . . . do I actually need to sleep?
No, and yes, respectively. But something happened to make me decide to give the 50,000 words in 30 days a shot anyway. On October 5 I started a certain piece of practice fiction. I call it practice fiction because it’s fan fiction, and no matter how happy I end up being with it and how much it stretches my writing skills, no, I likely won’t post it anywhere. Anyway, I started this practice fiction. Ten days later I had more than 20,000 words. Yes, I was bleeding into sleep time to do that, but I was so happy! I didn’t even want to go to work, and I love my job, no matter how mentally taxing it is.
But hey! 20,000 words in 10 days! Those look like the kind of numbers you should have for NaNoWriMo. Why not just shift the end date to November 3, and try to get 50,000 words by then?
I tried. I really, really tried. But I mentioned that I actually do need sleep and that my job was mentally taxing, right? Because, as of today, I have about 40,000 words. Okay, great, but I’m supposed to have 45,000 words by the end of today. I am behind the curve, and unless I start typing twice as fast or pulling all-nighters, assuming I can still think straight enough to not write gibberish (that happened last week), then I’m not catching up any time soon.
Let me say this: all-nighters are not happening. No more.
So since it would be a shame not to write 10,000 more words and get the word count, or finish the practice fiction since I’ve got so much already, I’ve introduced some softer deadlines. 50,000 words by the end of this week, but no pressure, and finish the entire thing by the end of November, New Year’s at the latest. I’m (shockingly) writing the practice fiction completely by the seat of my pants. It’s currently a complete jumble of scenes that’s all mixed up, so I have no idea how much I still need to write. We’ll see. I’ll be sure to write a follow up post when I hit each of these goals!
And in the end, 50,000 words is 50,000 words, and a story is a story. Does it matter how long it took me to get there?
A. C. F.