I meet regularly to write with a friend I met two years ago at my very first NaNo write in. We both find the structure of making an appointment to meet and write keeps the procrastination demons at bay. This is probably the single most important thing that has come out of NaNoWriMo for me.
I’ve yet to “win”. 50K words in the month of November is truly a challenge, not just because it requires a committment to write regularly, but because there is so much else that happens this month (including, this year, my son waking up with the flu this morning). The past two years I’ve done well — 35K+ — but I didn’t really commit to the 50K. This year, though, I’m committed, and my friends are helping me keep my eye on the prize.
What prize? A completed first draft.
I hate first drafts. I love revising. So getting through a first draft is the hardest part of the entire process of creating a book for me. This way I get to sprint through the hard part with lots of people all over the words pushing me to keep up my word count, pushing me to keep my fingers moving, pushing me to create without editing, without questioning. It’s all about getting those 50K words on the page.
The real prize is that I’ll give myself December to catch up with all the things that fall by the wayside this month while I put my writing front and center. Then, come January, I get to tackle my very favorite part of writing a novel. I get to take the SFD (**itty First Draft) and craft it into a compelling story. What a way to start the new year!
If you haven’t joined the madness of NaNoWriMo, it’s not too late. Check out nanowrimo.org and sign up for free. Then plant your butt in the nearest chair and get to work. Your first draft could be finished by November 30th! What are you waiting for!
NOTE: The NaNo site is REALLY slow this first week or so of the challenge, so be patient. If you can’t get signed up right now, start writing. In a few days you can make it “official” on the site.
Now go write!