Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Declining NaNo


For the last couple of weeks, I have been struggling with what to do in November.  In 2010, I participated in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or even shorter, the NaNo.  I had a blast and succeeded in reaching my 50,000 words.  Then I never finished the book.  In 2011, I took the year off from NaNo because I was very busy.  November is also the month my church does a huge retreat weekend.  I worked the entire weekend and knew I wouldn’t have the time with my son’s football games and Thanksgiving to get the needed 50,000 words written.  However, I missed the event terribly.  Last year, I again worked the month winning once again.  This second book is sitting in my yet to be finished folder.  Both NaNo’s taught me a ton and I loved the work.  This year though I have been debating to take part or not.

                I am working just a small part for the retreat weekend; however, I do have a weeklong obligation that will keep me from the keyboard.  Between both activities, I will not be writing for a good eight days.  This isn’t even factoring Thanksgiving!  Another problem is that I am doing an online book cover class.  I haven’t a clue how much time this is going to take out of my schedule.  I really want to put all my energy into learning this part of the business and I don’t want to be torn between the strict word deadlines along with the class deadlines.  Alas, I am also exhausted.  This last month, I hit editing really hard.  I doubled all my times with the goal of finishing my pre NaNo novel to be published early next year.  I didn’t realize how draining this would be.  I am burnt out.  Plus, I still have two more chapters to go to finish it up.

                So, I have been leaning towards not doing the NaNo.  My husband and I have talked about it and as he pointed out, I still have tons of work.  My second book that follows this first one in the series is at about 45,000 words.  I need to not only edit the book but also need to add about 50,000 words.  (Hum, this is the amount for the NaNo.)  After that I have my original NaNo that I need to finish and edit.  This is a really complicated book with three different points of view with three different timelines.  I am really saving it until I become a stronger writer so I don’t kill it too much.  But the fact remains, I have these two novels, a nonfiction book, and a bunch of short stories not finished.  Maybe it would best behoove me to finish my projects before starting a new one.

                This morning as I slogged through my morning tasks of reading the latest writers’ blogs that I follow and writing up pathetic morning pages (with the NaNo in the back of my thoughts), I came across a quote from a writer that I follow.  When you are finished with a story or novel, get it out and move on.” - See more at: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/#sthash.BHSmytYE.dpuf  I need to finish my work.  Since about April, that has been my main focus.  I have finished up five short stories and am almost finished with my novel, Pursuing Destiny.  I need to keep going.  So, with a heavy heart, I am going to decline the challenge of the NaNo.  Instead, I am continuing with my personal challenge to clean our my still working file until I am left just one novel project and one short story project.  If I find myself bored, I may try getting those 50,000 done for the book.

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