i am doing me some NaNoWriMo this year. i attempt the challenge every year, and have only won twice in my life. the first year that i won was in 2011, the year after i graduated from college. i didn’t have papers to write or books that i had to read, i was missing having deadlines like crazy, and i didn’t yet have a job or kids. there wasn’t much going on for me at the time, and i breezed through it. i had like two 10k days. it was fun, it was exhilarating. i have just lied to you all unintentionally. having checked the NaNo website, it appears i have won the thing three times. my bad. the second time i won was in 2017 and the third time was in 2019. somehow, i forgot i won just last year. in my defense, though, we all know that 2020 has actually already been 100 years long.
in between those victories i have tried nano and failed it. i have tried camp nanos and failed those too. some projects i stop after only 1,000 words, some projects have nearly 10k or more. and an awful lot are at 0. i feel like most years i start off heavily motivated, that i will complete this goal, and then i fall behind. not just one day behind, but two or three, and it feels like once those days keep stacking up, it gets harder and harder to motivate myself back into the game.
i am also realizing that perhaps my method of pantsing it, with very little to NO plotting, could be a problem. and so this year, i am embarking on a journey of self-discovery, of learning how to plot and plan for myself. and i am having fun with it.
did you know that plotting— outlining even! — can take some off the edge, that “I MUST START THIS NEW PROJECT IDEA NOW OR WITHER INTO NOTHINGNESS” feeling sparked by a new idea? that sometimes is the problem with NaNo when i think too early about a project. i am hoping that i keep the passion, the excitement alive, with my foray into this outlining and plotting game.
so, starting this month and all through october, i will share my baby steps into plotting. i will share snippets of my outline. bits about the characters i will be writing about, and bits of the story i have in my head.
i will also continue to work on the prompts i have been given for this month and ask for more prompts when i finish those. pausing prompts in november to just focus on the writing of my novel which is currently called: Motherhood & Magic.
are you planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year? are you a plotter or a pantser? do you have any advice for a pantser who is attempting their first plotted novel?