November starts tomorrow, and for me that means just one thing: National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, where participants challenge themselves to write an entire novel of at least 50,000 words in a month. I successfully completed the task in 2010 and 2011, but I have more ambitious plans this time around.
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I promised on this site that I would be back for 2012. Indeed, I made this specific pledge:
I also need to make sure that next November isn’t the next time I work on and complete the draft of a book. I need to make time for other projects between then and now. So if it turns out that I haven’t come November next year, Lifehacker readers can line up and throw cabbages at me.
I don’t think I need entire cabbages thrown at me, but it might be reasonable to fling a little coleslaw. I haven’t completed the entire separate draft of any single title. However, I have done a stack of research for two non-fiction titles; written the outline for a third; and submitted revised versions of both my previous NaNoWriMo manuscripts to publishers. No-one has bitten yet, but that’s life in writing, and I have kept pursuing that life, even outside my day job.
The basics of doing NaNoWriMo are, for me, the same as ever: I need to schedule time in my calendar every day for writing, and produce just under 2000 words a day. If I do that, no problem.
To add to the pressure, I also have a publication plan this year. My novel is on a tech-themed topic, so it’s going to be published, in instalments, online over the Christmas break on Gizmodo and perhaps Lifehacker (we’re still arguing internally over the mechanics). It will be available as an ebook for anyone who wants a “proper” version, but the whole thing will be on the site for nothing for your holiday reading pleasure.
So in just under two months’ time, everyone will be able to read The Gadget Assassin. Tomorrow, I have to start writing it.