We are fully into the first week of NaNoWriMo!
I am happy to say that my first four days have gone pretty well.
I was nervous about this year. Compared to last year, when I crushed NaNoWriMo, I now have a full-time job which means that I can’t just write all day.
I have participated in NaNoWriMo before when I’ve been working full time. I did it in 2011, when I started writing Taking Flight, as well as in 2013 when I wrote Making Headlines. So I knew that I could write the minimum of 1,667 words per day to hit that goal of 50,000 words in a month—but I was still nervous.
Luckily, I’ve had nothing to be nervous about. I’ve been able to make some time in the mornings to write (good-bye, morning workout time. See you in December!) and have been fortunate enough to get some writing in during my lunch hour at work.
But on top of just finding the time to write, I was nervous about my story. I tried to write this particular book once before and failed fabulously. So this time around, I made a very hefty, scene-by-scene outline. This means that I’ve already planned out the entire book! I know what I’m doing and where my characters are headed and how things are going to end!
That really works for me.
But maybe that doesn’t work for you. Maybe you want to write whatever scenes pop into your head, creating the book out of order and piecing it together later. Maybe you just want to start writing and see where the story takes you. That is perfectly fine!
One of the most important things to learn about yourself as a writer is how you work best. If that’s with an insanely detailed outline, wonderful! If it’s flying by the seat of your pants, fantastic! If it’s typing it all out in a word processor or on a typewriter or—gasp—by hand, fabulous! If it’s in a windowless room that is completely silent, great! If it’s in a busy, loud coffee shop, peachy!
You need to do whatever makes sense for you and your creativity.
And remember two things:
Just get the words on the page, get the draft done, and then worry about making the words readable later.
Maybe you want to write the last scene or the fight scene or the flirting scene or the meet-cute first. Do it! Start wherever you want. Because here’s the beauty in writing: you’re in control and you can start wherever you want.
Happy writing, Wrimos!
If you’d like to read some more writing advice, check out last year’s week one post, here.