It's November 1st and the Halloween fun is over except for all the candy filling up the house. Now it's time for novelists to get back in the mine and start digging for a rich vein of Mother Lode literary gold. In September I publicly wondered if I should participate in this year's NaNoWriMo. It's an annual writing binge in which thousands of writers sign up for a marathon month of writing with the hope of achieving a complete 50,000-word novel in 30 days.
Because I'm at a point in which I need to start composing a new novel I thought that jumping on the bandwagon would be a good way for me to get a big start. After much thought I have decided to not officially sign up for NaNoWriMo. My novels tend to be at least 150,000 words. I could never completely draft one in a month. Because I would only be doing NaNoWriMo as a way to get a big start on my next novel I would not really be honoring the spirit of the program that is meant for people to write a complete novel in a month.
I also worried that if I joined NaNoWriMo I would be inclined to power through with writing for the sake of adding words instead of stopping and doing research as necessary. I'm currently in a phase in which I am writing in a historical setting. I'm planning a sequel to my newest novel Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale that is officially releasing on November 13th. I learned from writing Werelord Thal that a historical setting sometimes demands that I stop and do more research before proceeding. I'm currently researching and planning the new novel. My aim is to even start writing it this weekend.
I'm just not the type of person who likes being penned in by artificial deadlines and requirements. That feels too much like a job. Writing is my art. It's work I love and it's not a job to me.
I understand that some people love the motivation of strict deadlines and requirements. It really puts a fire under their butts. I live with a fire under my butt. When I don't feel like writing I honestly tell myself "But what if I died tomorrow? Then this chapter would never be completed." That's pretty motivating.
To everyone who has made the committment to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, I extend my respect and encouragement. It is a completely possible endeavor. Let the words fly and may your characters take you for a thrilling ride.