I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year, but not in the usual way. Because, yeah, that’s just how I am. This makes me an Official NaNoRebel. This is also why I won’t be showing a word count. More on that below.
I last did NaNoWriMo in 2004, which was the fifth year of the phenomenon. I “won,” aka. wrote 50,000+ words, but none of what I put down was useful. My “novel” was a road story about people dealing with a nasty dictator. Sort of Mad Max without the subtle and insightful plot. For the most part, people drove around Northern California, which was in a shambles what with the dictator and all, and talked about how cruddy the dictator was. *thud* Not even a fair amount of plagiarized Orwell could save that thing.
Anyway, in the fourteen years I’ve been away, NaNoWriMo has evolved to allow for the tracking of goals other than the 50K word count. Apparently, all the
whining griping constructive commentary many of us have made over the years about the emphasis on word count neglecting the importance of editing, etc. has paid off. I emailed recently and asked if there were any way to track time input instead, and there is, even though it’s a bit under the radar (in proper rebel fashion.) You have to click on “goal trackers” and customize a tracker for yourself. I’m not sure whether it shows up on your profile the way the word count tracker does. If not, I’ll likely add some sort of daily tally in the text on my profile or whatever.
My goal generally is to put in 90 hours on writing each month. I rarely make it all the way (so far!), but that’s the goal. It’s not NaNoWriMo if it’s not a little bit nuts, so my goal for November will be 100 hours, aka. 200 Pomodoros. BIG FAT HAIRY NOTE: I’m retired and kind of boring, so this time input is reasonable for me. If you’re working full time and/or raising small humans, any time you can put into creative projects is worthy of praise. If you can squeeze out, like, 10 hours in the month, between keeping people fed, folding yet more laundry, soccer practice and showing up for work, I am more than impressed enough to buy your coffee for you, believe me.
I had already earmarked November for outlining a novel, and I can now do so as part of NaNoWriMo. This matters because I know some other people who are doing NaNoWriMo and I can now play along, and I can also participate in some of the local events like “The Night of Writing Dangerously.”
Back to work. I still have five more Pomodoros left for today…