I haven’t been writing many Nano posts this year, but I just hit 50k! Go me!
So it took me considerably longer this year. Partially that was because of a much greater college workload, but a big part of it was just not being quite as enthusiastic about my story idea as I was last time around. People say to write what interests you rather than what you think will sell and I’m definitely proving that true. I actually hit 35k, realized the idea I was working on wasn’t going to sustain a full novel without major expansion that I didn’t have time to think about right now and then switched to a different idea for the last 15,000 words, which I guess is technically breaking the “rules” but whatever. I didn’t want to break my momentum.
But before we close this thing off completely, we have two pep talks to look at! The first is from Doing In The Wizard’s very own Brandon Sanderson! It’s actually pretty good! It focuses on an area of the career that NaNo by design doesn’t seem to like to emphasize- how fucking long it can take to actually get a book sold. I like this message, talking about how Sanderson’s sixth book ended up getting accepted out of the blue after he had written and sent off twelve:
You could be writing the book that changes your life. You could have already submitted it, or self-published it. The spark could be starting a fire for you as well. You don’t know, and you can’t know. That is the thrill of being an artist, of working for yourself, and of telling the stories you want to tell.
I don’t know, so much of the NaNo Message is about not giving up on the writing itself, but the truth is that’s just the start. It seems like just waiting for someone to bite might be just as gruelling (I hope to be able to write about this topic from first-hand experience sometime soon).
And then after that we’ve got…… Jim Butcher! His pep talk is one of those dorky “I’m going to tell you not to do these things but actually you should do these things, also being a writer sucks (but I’m only joking actually it’s awesome). I have seen this technique done well once and only once, in this book. Butcher doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
In any case, this year’s NaNo might not have been as smooth sailing as before- to be perfectly honest the main thing I took away from it is that trying to write during really stressful periods probably won’t go too well- but I enjoyed it all the same and I remain just as committed to writing as I was at the end of last November.