NaNoWriMo. The most brutal, demanding writing month of the year. In order to make it to 50,000 words by the end of the month, one has to average 1,667 words a day. Difficult, but not too bad. 1,500 is my normal daily average, but with work and daily chores, it's hard to keep it going for a whole month. Plus, I usually don't write on weekends, so in order for me to win at NaNoWriMo, my daily word count goal is 2,380. And that is difficult.
I've attempted NaNoWriMo quite a few times, but I didn't win until last year. I started the month with a goal to finish Pointe & Shoot*, but three or four days into November I had this random scene floating through my head that I couldn't get rid of. I decided to write it down one day and use it for my word count, so I could just get it out and move on. But that one scene turned into two, then three. My word count for that day was tremendous! So I sent the scenes to my younger sister, asking if the story was worth continuing. Her response: Yes! Keep going!
I spent the rest of the month pantsing a celebrity romance, and it was so fun. I sent all the new words each day to my sister, and about halfway through she said, "I'm dying to know what happens next!" and I was like, "Me too!"
You guys, I am not a pantser. I am the most plottiest plotter there ever was. I once took a plotting class from Brenden Reichs, and he put up a picture of this huge whiteboard, filled with magnets and post-its and color-coded plot-lines. Everyone gasped and talked about how overwhelming it was, and I just sat there thinking, "It's so beautiful!"
Anyway, I totally won last year. Not only did I write all 50,000 (actually 52,726) words, but I learned a lot about plotting on the fly and pushing through the hard spots to get that story down on paper. And I am so excited for this year's NaNoWriMo. I'm kinda cheating, because I'm not starting fresh on a new book; I'm finishing up my current work in progress. But I'm only counting new words written, and I'll start a new project once I finish this one.
One thing that really helped me last year was being buddies with some great writers. Seeing their word counts go up motivated me to push harder. If anyone else is writing this November and wants to buddy-up with me, my username is jacquelineclewis. Super easy!
Good luck to everyone writing!
*Still not finished!