In order to meet the minimum 50,000 word length for National Novel Writing Month, I need to produce 1,700 words or so every day in November. On the first day, I wrote 2,821.
If I keep that pacing up, I’ll be done by November 17, but I’m not kidding myself it will be that easy. One of the rules for NaNoWriMo is that you can’t do any actual writing ahead of the project’s official start. As such, I’ve been wandering around with ideas and half-formed sentences in my head for several months now.
Having been let off the leash and allowed to write, it’s no surprise that a lot of stuff has come gushing out without too much apparent effort. My suspicion is that as the text grows, I’ll produce less, since the temptation to edit and refine what I’ve already written will loom ever larger.
I’m working this week with the assumption that I need to assign two hours a day to novel writing, and I’m specifically placing those on my calendar. Past experience suggests my best writing time is early in the morning, but that’s already set aside for working on Lifehacker and other freelance commitments. I can’t use a fixed time every day either, as my work schedule varies a lot. After a week, I figure I’ll have some idea whether two hours is sufficient, whether I’d be better off assigning multiple short blocks, if I need to try and lock down a time of day, and whether I need any other tweaks to the system.
The other issue I’ve had to deal with early is choosing the best software for my writing needs, but that’s a topic I’ll cover in a full post later in the week. Suffice to say I’ve already changed my mind once and suspect I’ll do so again.
Throughout November, Angus Kidman will be blogging about his participation in NaNoWriMo to unearth lessons about writing, project management and creativity.