The draft of BGDD2 is due to my editor at the end of this week. But, uh… we won’t think about that right now.
What a lot of people are thinking about is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Basically, the idea is that you spend the month of November writing a 50,000 word novel–or 50,000 words of a longer novel (since 50k is pretty short for any category except YA).
I have never gotten very far in NaNo. For the past few years, what with revisions to BGDD and dog shows galore, November has been packed with activities that would make such a rigorous writing schedule impossible.
For those of you who are participating, please heed this advice:
(1) Wear reading glasses and take frequent breaks from staring at your computer (and no, switching to Twitter or Facebook from MS Word doesn’t count as a break).
(2) Don’t be too hard on yourself.
(3) Don’t assume that by the end of the month you will have a draft that is ready to send to an agent. You will probably have to revise your NaNo. But that’s okay. Everybody revises.
(4) If you do get started and find you can’t finish, or fall way behind on your wordcount, don’t just give up your novel altogether. NaNoWriMo is fun, what with all the zeitgeist and such, but it should be a launching point. Meeting NaNo’s wordcount should not be your ultimate goal; finishing a draft of a novel should be your ultimate goal. So if you have to slow down and finish your draft by, say, March instead of December 1, I say go for it. Don’t just give up forever.
On the other hand, if you are not doing NaNo, like me, how about treat November as Reverse NaNoWriMo? Every day, try doing, making, eating, or learning something new! Enrich yourself so that when you DO feel motivated to sit down and write your novel, you have lots of interesting new stuff to draw from. (Writing is allowed, too… in moderation.)
Be sure to tweet about your adventures and label with #reversenanowrimo … so I can see what you’re up to!
My Reverse NaNo deed for the day? Starting a vermicompost bin. See, I had this Rubbermaid tub full of soil that, with neglect, had turned into rich, crumbling, beautiful soil with worms in it. So I figured, if I did it on accident, I can probably keep it up on purpose. I went digging for worms near the drainage ditch at the end of my street (the glamour continues…) and put them in with the old-timers. Cross your fingers!
Tomorrow’s activity? (Spoiler alert!) –Going back to WORK. Argh. It’s not that I don’t love my work and the people I get to see when I’m there, but still… argh!