So. I’m still about 4000 words below where I ‘should’ be with this story.
But considering my slow start to the month, and the fact that I’ve been taking weekends off, that’s not terrible. I’ve been averaging about 2500 words a day; if I added one more short writing session every day, I could push that up to 3000 with no difficulty, and still only have to write Monday through Friday.
I’d rather not. I’d rather keep going the way I have been, and I do have a few things I’d like to do with my time besides write, but I could.
Anyway. I’ve been thinking a lot about NaNo this past week, and my relationship with it.
I love it. I always have, and it’s had a profound impact on my writing—especially these past few years. Since 2016, NaNoWriMo has helped me start writing again, helped me find real writing friends for the first time ever, and taught me a lot about who I am as a writer. The public commitment and clear deadline are turning out to be essential to actually, you know, finishing a story.
But at the same time… I’m not sure it fits anymore. I feel like it places too much emphasis on churning out a first draft, quantity over quality, et cetera, and… I don’t think that works for me right now. I don’t like how much time I’ve spent thinking about my word count, when I could have been focussed on crafting my story. It’s not that the story isn’t working right now—I’m definitely on the right track—but there are parts of it that aren’t as solid as they could be, even in a first draft, and I’m just leaving them as they are because I’m so focussed on the word count graph. And that’s just going to mean more work later.
I’ve gone through this before. I stopped doing NaNo entirely sometime around 2007, because it didn’t fit with the writing routine I’d built. It turned out to be the right decision (even if that routine I’d built wasn’t sustainable).
I’m not in that exact place now; it might just be that things aren’t quite clicking for me this year. (And I really do love the whole ‘deadline’ thing!) But I’m thinking about it.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep going.