Friday, October 30, 2009

Nano on the Brain

It’s that time of year again. November 1st is not only All Saints Day in the Catholic church but also the start of Nano – National Write a Novel in a Month month.

I caught the bug last year and in an effort to keep up with the cool kids I signed up to write 1,500 words a day, every day for the month. I had an idea but not much more than that. Needless to say, what was supposed to be fun and a way to get me to write every day turned into a chore. I realized that the main reason why was because I had failed to plan. I had nothing more than my idea and a couple of character outlines. And while I love the idea and hope to flesh it into a series I learned I am not a pantser – I can’t just sit and write without having a clue of where I’m going and that’s where I got hung up last year.

This year I’m going to participate but I’m going to do it on my terms. For starters every Sunday, starting this Sunday, I’m planning out my week. One night might be research, the next might be writing (the goal of which will be 400-500 words a night) another night might be plotting. Last year I picked up a writers calendar planner thing that I’ve yet to use – well it’s going to be put to use this year.

I’m also not going to dive right in the second I walk in the door from work. I’m going to take time to decompress from my day whether that’s by going to the gym for a half hour, doing yoga at home or just veging and then having some dinner I need to have a transition time.

In case you’re curious my Nano project is actually going to be a 2-fer. I’m going to be editing the Undone I wrote this summer and prepare it to submit by February 1, 2010 (if not sooner). I will also be working on a new project that falls in the same place and time as the Undone and will be a YA historical.

I think that Nano is a great idea – it’s a great way to get people who might not otherwise write a motivation for doing so. I’m planning on using it as a way to develop my own style that will allow me to achieve my goal of submitting. After all, you can’t submit what you haven’t got.

Happy Nano everyone!


Katie said...

Sounds like you have a great plan. The hardest part is building up to the discipline to make it happen every day, but I know you'll be successful.

Decompressing is, I think, the most important activity to do before sitting down to research or write. It's the only way I can mentally shift gears to something else.

Sheila said...

At least you're writing. That's the important part.