Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Should I Do NaNoWriMo?

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As you all know NaNoWriMo is the talk of the blog-o-sphere right now because it is just around the bend. Last year, I attempted it and failed miserably. This year I thought about it and decided that this NaNoWriMo  goal isn't for me.

For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write fifty thousand words in a month. That works out to...let me pull up my calculator...aprox. 1666 words a day.

I have been participating in the 100 for 100 challenge hosted at Go Teen Writers over the past seven weeks. My goal is to write 100 words for 100 days. Some days, I find that challenging. Not for lack of words, but for lack of time (work, school, etc.). I don't think I could jump to 1666 words a day for a whole month without missing. It just isn't a wise goal for me, and that's okay. I've learned that I don't have to do every writing meme or blog hop, I just have to pick the ones that are right for me and my story.

There is so much advice on writing goals and what they should be, but I think the key to a successful writing goal is to produce consistent work. Some people write 1000 words a day, others 5000 or even 500; it doesn't matter. The best way to produce written work and improve your craft is to set goals that are based off your lifestyle. Having goals that you can't reach are worthless and discourage you from writing. Sure writing 1666 words/day would challenge me, but I know I wouldn't be able to reach that consistently, and I would end up feeling like I hadn't accomplished anything. A better goal for me would be 200 words/day it's still increased, but manageable. Good goals push you, but still turn out consistent work. 

Some tips for setting your writing goals:
-Set up a weekly goal instead of a daily goal, so if you miss a day, you can make it up guilt free
-Assess how much time you have in your day. Factor in school, job, homework, family time, activities etc. Is a certain time of the week/month more busy? Adjust your goals to accommodate that time period
-Try setting scene goals instead of word count goals. Eg. "I'm going to get to the end of this scene today" or "I'm going to get halfway through the scene"
-If you are at loss for what to write, set aside time to plot out the story in your weekly goals. This will help you get the words down when you know what you want to happen. Eg. Instead of writing 500 words today, I'm going to figure out the particulars of the next two scenes
-Give yourself time to adjust to the goals and revisit them after a few weeks. Maybe it's too much to ask of yourself, or maybe you could be doing more (I love it when I succeed a goal!)

Yes, smaller goals result in my story taking longer to get down to the page, but so long as it's getting to the page consistently, it's fine by me. How about you? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Do you have any writing goals or tips about them?

What I'm reading: The Hate List by Jennifer Brown
What I'm listening to: "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels
What I'm watching: Elementary

P.S. Props to all the NaNoWriMo participates out there! Good luck!
P.P.S Last year I put up some links to help out with the beginning of NaNoWriMo, check them out here

6 comments:

  1. I want to do NaNo next year. This year I have exams in november. A lot of exams. Which means a LOT of memorizing. I didn't think it would be wise to sign myself up for it, even though I'm on the first chapter of my newest book. :)

    Good advice about the writing goals! I need to make one for myself. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Goals definitely help the writing process. Good luck with making up yours!

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  2. I think you could always do a mini-nano and set your own goals.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    Replies
    1. That's a good idea. I think for November I might try to up my 100 for 100 goal to two or three hundred words instead.

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  3. Sometimes NaNo is more of a pain then it is worth. It is helpful to some and not others and not every writer should feel like they have to do it because they write. Some people write with different goals and there is nothing wrong with that.

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree with you! Well said.

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