The Nano challenge: Write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.
So we’re 10 days in and this is how things are shaping up:
Target word count for day 10: 16,670
Actual word count for day 10: 16,717
Ever so slightly over the target and I’m pleased with how my second attempt at Nano is coming along.* As with last year, I’m surprised at just how much time I’ve managed to free up and devote to writing. My Nano strategy so far has been to follow the mantra ‘Just Sit Down and Write!’ As with last year, having a specific goal to work towards (those elusive 50,000 words) is providing me with a lot of focus and an unusual amount of self-discipline. I get in from work and I sit down and…I write. There’s absolutely no reason that I can’t do this every other month of the year, but there’s definitely something about the Nano challenge that compels me to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, to be more precise) and tell a story from start to finish.
One of trickiest things for me at the moment is forcing myself not to listen to my inner editor. Given that I work as an, um, editor, this is pretty difficult. It’s hard to allow myself to simply write, to put the words on the page and just get the story down, without checking and rechecking every phrase to ensure that it’s perfect. I have to tell myself that doing that would defeat the point of Nano (for me, at least). I know that what I’ve written so far is nowhere near perfect. If I get to the end of Nano and I have written something that I quite like, it will need to be thoroughly revised, redrafted and refined before I let anyone else within reading distance of it! For now though, I’m trying to tell myself that it’s okay not to be dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts at this point. Right now, it’s about getting the story out of my head and onto the page. Telling the tale from start to finish. Taking baby steps towards writing a book.
*I have, however, started to realize that Nano-ing and blogging are pretty much incompatible, so I think that blogs entries over the coming weeks could be few and far between!