Make your own NaNoWriMo goals!
I’ve done NaNoWriMo for many years. I loved the idea of writing a novel in a month even if it’s not edited. My mentor Brian Katcher always said that most writers fail, because they will never finish their first draft. Something like NaNoWriMo is great incentive to get that first draft complete.
Even though I’ve performed in NaNoWriMo for four years, I only ever officially won once. It was my final year of college. I was taking a novel writing class. I had to write a complete first draft in a semester, so I was already cranking out word counts.
The next year I didn’t win. The year after I was too swamped at work to do the full 50,000 words. Over these two failed years, I got really down on myself. Without the pressure of college deadlines, I didn’t feel the motivation to go the distance.
Last year, I came up with an idea. I was still bogged down at my job. I work retail, so November is gearing up the holiday season. I didn’t see how I would complete the 50,000. Instead, I decided to do something new for NaNoWriMo. I shot for a much lower goal of 20,000 words. That’s about 667 words a day and something completely manageable even with my schedule. The downside is on the NaNo website you can’t adjust the word count. It is a bit deterring to see you’re “behind” while I knew I was right on target. I took the liberty of making my own chart on Microsoft Excel to ensure I was on track.
It was equally exciting to win my own personal goal. I didn’t get the winner logo or the T-Shirt from NaNoWriMo, but I had the satisfaction of conquering myself.
That is my suggestion to you, dear writers. Don’t say that NaNoWriMo is too much or you don’t have time for it. Take this month to set your own goals. Can you write 10,000 words? Great! Can you do 40,000 words? Also great!
My goal for NaNoWriMo this year is two blogs a week on What the Fangirl i.e. eight blogs in one month. I also want to shoot for writing my first pilot television script. I am a bit nervous, because it’s week two. I haven’t started the pilot at all, but I still feel like I have time.
If I can do this, you can too! Go out and win NaNoWriMo at your own pace!