Sunday, 9 November 2014

Ambitious or just plain insane?

Source: Facebook
For many of us (writers that is) November is NaNoWriMo month. We register on 1 October, plan our novel until 29 October, then we start panicking on the 31st. When 1 November rolls around you are either jumping up and down with excitement, or hyperventilating in a brown bag.
Sound familiar? Yes, you have been there and probably have the T-Shirt to show for it. And it is an achievement to be proud of. A whole month of writing, neglecting our families, our homes and possibly even our pets because that 50k is not easy. Does give you a newfound respect for those authors who do this for a living, doesn’t it?
This year I started my fourth NaNoWriMo. Although I am not a planner, there are some things that have to be in place even for the pantser in me. At the very least I have to know where to start, who my characters are, where my story is taking place and what genre I am aiming for.
Since I am writing a series of novels, some of these aspects are clear, others are flowing on from the first two books, and some will be a surprise, just as I want them to be. I chain my muse to the wall, send my internal editor on a sinking ship to China and tell my husband to buy pizza more often than usual. Not an unfamiliar situation for most of us, I am sure.
But November 2014 turned out to be a different kettle of fish. There has been general consensus that I went off the deep end, and struck my head when I hit the bottom! And during this second week of November, I am inclined to agree.
You see, I enrolled not only to take part in NaNoWriMo, but also NaNonFiWriMo. That might be an unfamiliar acronym, and quite unpronounceable too, but it is the non-fiction equivalent of NaNoWriMo.
It is insane I know, but my third novel is on a go or no go path. If I cannot finish the first draft this year, it is going straight into file 13, locked and sealed. My non-fiction book has not seen much progress for a whole year, and that is becoming a real pain too.
So I made the decision: do or die! November will see the completed first drafts, or I stop wasting my time on both these projects and move on to something else. There are after all sixty eight more manuscripts on my computer that are in various stages of completion.
To NaNo or not to NaNo is not the question, it is the answer of which level of insane I want my life to be in November. Harrr!

Have you done both at the same time? Tell us about your NaNoWriMo experiences.