I’ve had a bit pretty good relationship with National Novel Writing Month and been pretty committed to it over the years. I’ve at least started every year since 2004, even though I’ve only completed it twice. I think I will always make an attempt or throw my hat in the ring in some form every year, because it’s always been the camaraderie, excitement and motivation that draws me too it rather than the format, the duration or the word count. I like writing consistently with lots of people over the month.
NaNoWriMo is always a bit contentious amongst writers and there are many debates often had about how useful it is, but I feel like it may work for some and not for others and there’s no single path for writers and their methods, so in some sense the debates are often redundant.
But NaNo was a bit different for me this year. Perhaps it’s studying Creative Writing at uni, being on break, or a number of other factors, but writing was not the problem for the first time. It wasn’t time or my ability to get down a lot of words, but the story kind of fell flat, so despite being well ahead of my word count, I pulled the plug on day 4, the same day I decided to withdraw from the City2Sea due to a knee injury and focus on other things.
Both training for a long-distance running race and attempting NaNoWriMo require intensive input so perhaps it was not the best thing to do after completing my first year of uni, so now my attention is turning to the other things on my list and another writing project that keeps grabbing my attention.
It was Jodi Cleghorn, my editor for a number of short stories included in the eMergent anthologies, that led me in that direction over a late breakfast. NaNoWriMo is not a waste of time for me because it’s been the 2010 NaNoWriMo novel that keeps coming back to me.
I keep trying new formats for it, new mediums etc. but despite still being unsure if it’s a serial, a series of short stories, a novella, a novel or a script, or whatever it ends up being, the characters, and the story keeps holding my attention.
So I’m going to try some new things, some less structured writing, and just dabble with scenes, with plotting, and play with the characters for the next few months and see how that goes, especially in November and see if I can still make use of the month.