NaNoWriMo 2020: Am I Doing It?

It's getting close to that time of year again. No, I don't mean Halloween or Thanksgiving. I mean NaNoWriMo.

If you've somehow missed all my previous blog posts about NaNoWriMo, I have a whole page dedicated to it. And if you're new here or have managed to avoid my NaNoWriMo talk for the past six years, the gist is 50K words in 30 days, averaging at 1,667 words per day.

Since I first decided to do it in 2014, I've participated and won five times. Last year was the exception because I needed to focus on school and work, ending my five-year streak because I chose not to participate. As September drew to a close, I had to figure out if I was going to announce my novel or hold out for another year.

Long story short: I'm doing NaNoWriMo 2020.

That's right, I'm returning for another year of trying to write 50,000 words.

In a lot of ways, I feel like it'll be easier to balance NaNoWriMo with a job than it was to balance it with school. Without homework or extra-curriculars, there's less to take up my time. And without needing to commute to work this year, I think it's entirely manageable.

Originally, I had no plans to participate because my goal for 2020 was to finish re-drafting Project GHOST. I'm not very far along in that project, so I had thought about using this time to complete as much of my draft as possible. It's still an option for me, since I haven't totally decided what I'm going to be writing yet.

Another option is Project Bodyguard, the result of a dream I had. It inspired me enough to start writing again over the past couple of weeks, leading me to work on it casually. Sort of like the fun side project for when I don't want to write Project GHOST. There's still several big things to sort out story wise, but if I did choose to write this, it would be a lot of fun.

A brief conversation with Maggie, a great friend and fellow writer, we discussed the upcoming month and whether we'd be participating. Now, Maggie knows me better than any other writer out there. She's read my work from a really early stage as we participated in NaNoWriMo 2017 together, and her understanding of my skills is like no other. So when she said that it might be a consideration to take a break from Project GHOST to work on something fun, it gave me something to think about.

Now, I'm still deciding what exactly I'm going to do. Most of Preptober is going to be spent working casually on both Project GHOST and Bodyguard as I feel like it. And though I haven't been writing a lot in Project GHOST, a lot of thinking power has gone toward figuring out details of the story and finding character voice. It still counts and working on a story, and it might be worth taking some time away to have a little fun with a new project.

Going into this NaNoWriMo, I really want to focus on enjoying the experience and having fun. Previous NaNoWriMos have been completed under a lot of pressure and pushing myself to write on days when I had no desire or inspiration. This time around, I'd love to rediscover the joy of watching a story come together and the fun of writing again. It's been a long time since I've felt like I can have fun while writing, though that's ultimately my goal.

Like previous years, I will be vlogging the experience. Weekly vlogs will go up on my YouTube channel every Sunday and, of course, there will be a blog post wrapping up my experience once December rolls around.

It's going to be a different kind of year for me and NaNoWriMo, so fingers crossed that I'll be adding another certificate to my collection.

Are you thinking of doing NaNoWriMo?

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  • Maggie says:

    Talking to you about NaNo kinda got me thinking about doing it myself... originally I wasn't going to since I wasn't sure where I'd be with work/life in November, but I'm starting to get some answers. I'm thinking of working on a "for fun" project too (like you and Project Bodyguard), but we'll see how I feel in a few weeks.

    I guess this means I need to clean up my NaNo profile...