Eight hours (and a bit) until NaNo!

I’m doing it this year! I’m going to try to do NaNoWriMo! I think there’s a decent chance I won’t be able to complete it, but I might as well try, right?

In case you don’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month which shortens, of course, to NaNoWriMo. In honor of that, a “contest” happens every year where writers try to write 50,000 words in a month. Why 50,000? I really don’t know. Supposedly that’s the average amount of words in a first draft of a novel? That seems bonkers to me because the first draft of my first novel was almost 90,000 words and it went up from there!

But this summer, I got an idea for a story. Not YA this time, and not more work on the sequel to my first novel (which is currently just sitting and stewing for a bit), but this one is a middle grade fantasy novel. Think an MG American Gods meets a New England boarding school. And how long, according to most blogs, should an MG novel be? From what I can tell, 50k-60k words. Tada! A story idea that is NaNo ready.

Now, you might be asking yourself (as I know that I am asking myself), “Howard…how are you going to commit yourself to writing more than 1500 words a day for a month, when you could barely write an hour a day for four days a week for more than two weeks this summer?” Well, first of all, it’s at least 1,667 words a day Smarty-Pants!

Also, like I said before, there’s a fairly good chance that I won’t actually finish NaNo. A lot of people don’t. But also, I’m going to try a new strategy. Instead of trying to commit to a solid amount of time each day, I’m going to try writing sprints instead. If I’m going to be perfectly honest with myself, there is no way I’m going to be able to find an hour plus of time every day to write uninterrupted. But 20 minutes here and there throughout? That’s possible. (This blog post has only taken me 20 minutes so far).

So, here’s to trying something different. Here’s to ending this dumpster fire of a year with a new story idea that I’m excited about. And here’s to a month of crazy writing whenever I get a chance. Think I can do it? We’ll see!

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