When I reviewed my National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) posts from last year, I had to laugh. The description, especially at the end of the month, is what I decided to do this year. The only difference is in making a choice rather than falling into it. For those new to this event, a NaNo rebel chooses not to write on a brand new project to achieve the 50,000 words goal for the challenge.
My NaNo project is NaNo 2020 Scatterings with this for a description:
I have just under three hours to decide which of 10 projects I’m going with. I may do a Scatterings again this year and work on a few, though… And that’s exactly what I decided to do. First up is a bridging story in the Seed Among the Stars universe. I’m also writing a personal narrative of my NaNo journey in two simultaneous parts: short essays and diary entries. I suspect I’ll have something useful by the end of the month even if I can’t say for certain what it will be.
I listed the genres as young adult, steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and mainstream because they didn’t have a memoir category. Then I figured out/remembered I could add a category. Memoir isn’t quite the right genre for the portion either, but it’s closer. What’s funny is that I bothered to try figuring out an appropriate genre at all. Guess I’m not very good at rebelling.
The National Novel Writing Month began as a motivation project for a small writing group. It has since grown into a national and international phenomenon. Writing is often an isolated task. The appeal of NaNo, to new writers and experienced ones alike, has much to do with the sense of thousands of writers working with you. Whether it’s in writing sprints, tips on the forums, or just this amorphous sense, it helps people keep going long past when they would otherwise have given up.
As with last year, I’m having creativity problems in part because of what’s going on in the world today and in part for personal reasons. As you can see from the project summary, I did not have time to get ready for NaNo. Those beautiful, completed outlines I promised myself are still in the scattered, partial states they were at the end of last November.
I have a list of novel ideas I want to write…someday…and others in first drafts I want to polish or rewrite. What I don’t have is anything prepped and ready. I spent the two days before NaNo began in a meander through those 74 ideas. While fun and inspiring, the process did not dredge up anything ready enough to win the spot. I narrowed the list of possibilities down to a final nine, but that lasted for only a few hours.
When I copied last year’s Scrivener file into one for 2020, I remembered my scatterings from 2019. Since the crossover between my top nine and those in the file was significant, I decided to keep building rather than jumping to something new. Maybe I’ll have those completely prepped novels someday.
I continue to take part in NaNo because it’s a habit, and one I don’t want to break. Even if I have to change how I manage it, progress is progress. While I rarely interact with the NaNo site beyond my local NaNo group and recording my stats, the sense of being part of a community continues to motivate regardless.
I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone but me, but maybe now you have some understanding of why I persist. Despite my poor showing in recent years, November is tied to writing forever by now, and I intend to ride that wave however long it will carry me.
Besides, it would be nice to have the bridging story ready once Apprentice is out. And dare I suggest some headway (inside joke for Seeds Among the Stars fans) on the book to follow?
Here are my stats so far. I’m behind, but there’s lots of time to catch up.
|Day||New Words||Running Total|