This is my first time participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge to write 50,000 words in a month. Fifty thousand is a phrase to inspire fear and trepidation in any writer—unless you are a hard-core disciplinarian and write that much every month already.
Break it down. How many words do I have to write in a day? 1,666—oooh, that’s a sinister number. A lot of words—yikes!
How many pages is that? Maybe that’s a bite that easier to digest. If you go with the common estimate of 250 words per page, that's six and a half pages. Well, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? But…some days I struggle to eke out a couple of pages to meet my deadline of meeting with my critique group.
OK, all my objections aside, I signed up to help give myself a deadline, a virtual kick in the pants, and hopefully to develop a better daily writing discipline. So far, I haven’t met the daily goal, but I have been writing every day. That’s better than I was doing before! Maybe, if I quit procrastinating and dig in every day, I’ll eventually hit the 1600+ word-a-day goal! And even if I don’t make the 50,000 words in a month, I’ll be farther ahead than if I’d stuck to my hit-or-miss schedule.
One hint: If you get stuck at a certain place, jump ahead and write a scene in the future, or write the end. Sometimes that frees up the block and gives you ideas about how to fill in the blanks between.
Good luck to all the NaNo participants!---------------
A native Montanan, Heidi Thomas now lives in Northwest Washington. She has just had her first novel published, Cowgirl Dreams, based on her grandmother. Heidi has a degree in journalism, a certificate in fiction writing and is a member of Northwest Independent Editors Guild. She teaches writing and edits, and is working on the next books in her “Dare to Dream” series, and blogs.