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This is the worst possible year for me to do NaNoWriMo . . . which is exactly why I’m doing it

November means a lot of things.  It means we’re a month into my favorite season, that my birthday is just around the corner, and that my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, is coming up on us soon.  But it also means something far, far more ambitious: NaNoWriMo.

But, in all, honesty, this is a terrible year for me to be doing NaNoWriMo.  It’s my senior year in college, I’m taking 18 credit hours, I’m in 2 student organizations, and I have a part-time job, not to mention I got married earlier this year and I now have a house to keep up with.  Every previous year I’ve shied away from doing it because I’ve been too busy.  But this is without a doubt the busiest I’ve ever been, and I’m taking the plunge.  As a matter of fact, my draft is already started.  Why would I do this to myself?  Because only doing NaNoWriMo when you have a bunch of time really ruins the purpose of the event to begin with.

NaNoWriMo is about writing.  That’s obvious.  But it’s about more than just writing.  It’s about writing under pressure, which takes an all-elusive virtue: discipline.  If you don’t have anything else to do, then writing 50,000 words in a month may seem pretty feasible.  But when you have a job, classes, and other commitments to tend to, then it’s an enormous challenge.  And that’s exactly why I’m doing it.

I’ve been writing since I was 12 years old.  I published my first book in March of this year.  I can say without a shred of doubt in my mind that the most difficult part of writing for me has absolutely nothing to do with writer’s block, editing, or word choice.  It’s discipline.  I can daydream about a story all-day, but it’s difficult to sit down and take the necessary time to write a complete draft of a novel.  I love writing and it’s still difficult!  Like many writers, I’m a bit ADHD.  And, ironically, that’s why I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year.  To set a firm and difficult deadline.  To force me to be disciplined and dedicated.  To break me in the hard way.

So if you were considering doing NaNoWriMo, but think you’re too busy, that’s exactly the reason you should do it.

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A Title Reveal and Back to the Writing Cave

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At the beginning of this month, I was determined that I was going to have the first draft of my newest book done by the end of the month. I’m estimating it to be around 80,000 words. That’s right. I was going to write 80,000 words in a day. NaNoWriMo is only 50,000 words and a lot of people don’t make it, so I knew I was being ambitious. I was going strong, writing about 3,000 words a day, when something hit me.

My research paper.

Sometimes I forget that I’m still in college.  It really sucks remembering that, especially when you have a 3,500 word research paper to write.  Plus, there’s also your day job.  Because of these responsibilities, I had to push drafting the novel back.  It pained my heart to do so, but I’d really like to graduate with grades other than D’s, so it had to be done.  However, I’m now proud to say that the paper in question has been submitted, and my coursework for the semester is completed.  I do have summer classes, but those don’t start for another month, leaving me with quite a bit of time in between now and then to get some work done.

So it’s back to the writing cave.  I’d like to say that I can work overtime and still get the book done on time, but I’m not that stupid.  I’m only about a third of the way done, and there’s no way I’m writing 60,000 words in a week.  I’m not that stupid.  But all is not lost.  I still plan to release the novel in the summer, and if I’m lucky, July, but I realize that things often get pushed back.  It took me two years to write my first book, and with good reason.  I was still figuring it out.  Heck, I’m still figuring it out right now.  But it’s coming.

Before I go back into the cave, however, I do have some exciting information.  I have settled on a title for the second book of The Rogue.  I’m throwing it out on the internet so that I can’t change my mind, as I’ve already done half a dozen times.  I do really like this one, and I’m so confident in it that I’ve already ordered the book cover, which I hope to be able to show you sometime fairly soon.  The title is (drum roll, please) . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

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A Gray Crusade.

Like it?  I hope so.  Otherwise all of that drama will have been incredibly childish.

Maybe it was anyway.

Oh well.