November is the time for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short (although it’s been international for a few years now). Basically the idea is to gather together thousands of people from all over the world to write 50 000 words during the month of November. That means 1667 words per day. That’s not actually a publishable novel but roughly a half of one, especially in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. But it’s a start. The text won’t likely be good or even tolerable but there will be gems there.
Nowadays I’m normally a 500 words/day writer and sometimes more on weekends. I try to have at least one day off every week, usually two. A year ago I was happy if I could get 200 words done two days a week. A year ago I was laboring under the delusion that one needed inspiration to write. NaNoWriMo taught me different. I know that I can produce something like 10 000 words on a weekend day as long as someone else (ie the Husband) cooks me food and feeds and walks the dog. Even with no inspiration whatsoever. Even with no idea of a plot whatsoever. I’ll be exhausted at the end of the day and won’t likely be able to produce more than 100 words the next day but I’ll have those 10 000 words. Doing the whole month is kind of like running the marathon; you practice all year and then comes the time to defeat the bugger. After it you’re exhausted and thrilled to have actually finished and maybe want to take some time off simply because you’re done. But you’ve also accomplished something that’s really hard and most people in the world cannot do.
When you’re struggling hard with something, it’s somehow easier knowing that there are other people out there who not only are going through the same thing but willing to commiserate and offer advise any time, day or night. I don’t belong to any other community that is as active as NaNoWriMo during this time of the year when we’re all gearing up to go or writing full speed to get to where we’re going. And it’s kind of cool to have that even if I am an introvert.
Peer pressure gets such a bad rap but it’s not always awful. I went to donate blood for the first time because of peer pressure and I’ve been a semi-regular donor ever since. My point is, that a little peer pressure can make us work harder to do things that we might not normally do and sometimes that’s a good thing. And if NaNoWriMo doesn’t provide peer pressure that you sign up for then I just don’t know what does.
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, Chuck Wendig has an excellent list of things to consider and you still have a week and a couple of days left to plan.