With November just around the corner, NaNoWriMo advice posts and blogs are, of course, coming out of the woodwork.
I’ve been reading quite a few of them, looking for any tips, tricks or encouragement that might help me along in my NaNo attempt next month. I read them on my phone during break at work, or at home, when I need a little extra push to get to my daily word goal.
Most of them are helpful, or at least they manage to confirm things I already knew. Some are, of course, trying to sell you some course or book that will guarantee to help you “Win” at NaNo.
The worst ones, though, the ones that drag me down and make me doubt the value of participating in this challenge, are the negative ones.
Now, bloggers have to blog, and I understand that many times, negative stories get more attention than positive ones – that’s the nature of people; if it bleeds, it leads. But reading the negatively skewed articles can get a bit discouraging.
I know all of the stats – about 1 in 1000 unsolicited manuscripts sent to publishers ever get published, fewer if they’re NaNo submissions, which tend to flood publishing houses every December.
I’m not going into this challenge with the expectation that this story will ever get published. I just want to make that clear.
The point of my NaNo attempt isn’t to come out the other side of it with a complete, ready to publish novel. It’s just to finish. Right now, I just want to be able to say that I actually completed a first draft of a novel sized project, something I’ve never managed to do. I have no illusions that it will be the next Best Seller.
I intentionally picked a fun, throwaway idea for my novel, something I would enjoy writing but didn’t feel I had to make socially relevant or personally revealing. I’m not trying to write the next “Great Gatsby”, or the next “Boy in the Striped Pajamas”.
My story is (supposed to be) a fun, light sci-fi adventure, something I might enjoy reading for enjoyment. Think of it as my version of a (hopefully good) episode of Star Trek – maybe a bit of social relevance hidden away behind space battles, ray guns, and sexy green chicks.
Definitely NOT “To Kill A Mockingbird”.
I have every expectation that what I come away with at the end of NaNo, whether I “win” or not, will be just a step up from a steaming pile of shit. But that’s the point – it will be a finished pile of shit.
It will be something that if I deem it worth it, I can then take and revise, edit, re-write, and maybe work into something that doesn’t suck.
Or not. Like I said, the point here is just to finish a large writing project. To build the habit of sitting down everyday and writing. To learn to push through my doubts, my insecurities, my need to go back and edit every paragraph and bog myself down with details and worry, and to just write.
I think is was Micheal Jordan who said something like “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So the odds of this novel I’ll be working on ever getting published are 1 in 1000 or more. But, if I never write it, the odds are 1 in infinity.
Like Han Solo once said, “Never tell me the odds”.
Daily Word Count – 1710
Novel Word Count – 0 (Start Date Nov. 1)
Outline/Prep./Side Project Word Count – 44,114
Days Until NaNo – 8