I participated in National Novel Writing Month for the second time. Last year, I had the first half of a book written and I used NaNo as a motivation to quickly finish the second half. I was successful in doing that. This year, I had an outline and a first chapter of the next Jackson story, but I’d been out of new-story writing mode for a long time, so I signed up for NaNo as a motivation to write a good chunk of the book. I was successful in doing that.
I wanted to hit 50,000 words, but I didn’t and I’m fine with that. For me, it’s about setting goals, getting highly motivated, and upping my daily word count. The novel I’m working on is more complex than my other Jackson stories, and it needs constant tweaking to keep the parallel stories and characters in the same time frame. So I had to stop and rearrange chapters and sections a few times, which affected my word count. I also took time out to help my husband build an addition to the garage. I’m grateful to have that kind of flexibility in my schedule.
I’m glad NaNo is over. I need to go back to the beginning with this novel, make some decisions, modify a plot thread, and fill in some blanks. I won’t be comfortable moving forward until I do. In fact, I was rather frustrated the last few days of November because I kept pushing my word count, but I really needed to stop and fix a few things.
So this may be the last year I participate in this event. My goals for 2011 are to polish and publish the fifth Jackson story I’m writing now and to write and publish a second novel. It will either be the sixth book in the Jackson series or a standalone thriller I have already outlined and started. If all goes according to plan, next November I’ll be in proofread and cover design mode.
But who knows what November 2012 will be like?
What are your writing—or reading—goals for next year?
You might want to check out ROW80. It’s a lower-stress event because you create your own goals, which can include more than just word-count goals.