Today marks the halfway point of National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. By now, some of you are patting yourselves on the back in between gulps of your fourth cup of room-temperature coffee and going, “By George, I think I’ve got this!” Others of you are re-calculating just how many thousands of words a day you’ll need to write and how many hours of sleep you’ll need to forfeit if you’re to have any chance of catching up. And the rest of you have quit in one of two ways: Sad and defeated (“Alas, if only I’d had more time/willpower and less distraction/day job!”), or maniacally gleeful (“50,000 words in 30 days? They’re all mad! Thank goodness I was able to see through that soul-sucking scam early on!”) Well, wherever you are with your coffee intake and your word output, you’ve made the right choice. Good job and carry on!
A couple weeks ago I wrote that I have previously participated in NaNoWriMo, but that I have not made the effort for several years now. One reason for my lack of participation is that I don’t have the time to dedicate to writing every day, and it’s close to impossible to meet the 50K goal if you can’t write every single day.
But the main reason is that, both times after NaNoWriMo ended, I stopped working on my story. In 2016, the story was about a girl who wakes up every night with a different super power. I loved my character, but 30 days of super powers? I felt like I was trying to wring wine from a snake, they were that contrived. In 2017, the story was a basic zombie apocalypse, but with a twist. This time, I got so bogged down in the minutia of the four main characters’ lives pre-apocalypse that 25,000 words and 18 chapters in, they still hadn’t met a single zombie.
I haven’t completely given up on those stories, though. They’re my “One Day” dresses I’ve got hanging in my closet and I will never give them up to Goodwill. I’ve got long-term writing goals and those two babies are part of it.
What are your long-term writing plans? Do you have a story on hold? If so, what keeps you from writing it? How are you doing with NaNoWriMo? Let me hear from you at Kate@KateLanders.com.