BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


For the first time ever, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The idea is to try and write 50,000 words between Nov 1st and Nov 30th. The participants come from all levels of writing experience--from those who will be attempting their first book to multi-published authors. I've heard more and more people doing this with each succeeding year, and that's part of why I decided to try it--I wanted to be part of the camaraderie.

But that wasn't the biggest reason. The main impetus behind my signing up was a writing buddy. (I'm safe admitting this here because she doesn't read any blogs.) I've been trying to encourage her to write for the last couple of years--she's enormously talented--but haven't had much luck, so when she mentioned maybe trying NaNoWriMo, I was like yea! Then she didn't say anything else about it. That's when I had the brainstorm to suggest that I'd like to participate, but that it would be easier to do it with a friend. She'd already signed up, but since I'd already made the offer, it was too late to say, oh, well, since you were going to do it anyway, I'll just forget about it.

So I went over to the site, registered and buddied up with my friend and a few others. I have a word counter on my page. My word counter is on the buddy page of each and every one of the people who friended me.

This is when the panic began to set in.

It's stupid. I've completed books before and I've even written quite a few words in a short period of time more than once in order to make a deadline. It doesn't matter. There's something about that word counter that I find intimidating.

I've never counted words before, ever. I count pages. I'd have to do math to come up with a word count because I use the 250 words per page method. I like it because then I know exactly where I am in the book by the page number I'm on. My usual daily goal is 4 pages, which equals 1,000 words and I usually get more done on the weekends when I can write all day. I usually do around 8 pages then which works out to 2,000 words.

I can do NaNoWriMo. Maybe I won't get 50,000 words in the month, but I'm not trying to win, just participate and work on my next book. But it doesn't seem to matter; I look at that counter and become anxious. It's almost Pavlovian. I'm torn between going to the counter page over and over in an effort to inure myself to its insidious effect or avoiding it except when I have no other choice once November kicks into gear.

Of course, my anxiety might end up being for nothing. If I get revisions for Edge Of Dawn in November, I'll be dropping everything to work on them and NaNoWriMo will just have to go on without me, but in the meantime, I guess I'll just keep fretting.