Nanowrimo Is For Weenies*


One of the things about doing this writing thing as a job (aside from the fact that nobody tells you ahead of time that your ability and time to *read* will decrease to a depressing degree) is that there are deadlines. It’s no longer just going along for the fun of it, seeing where the story takes you. You’re expected to turn books in on time.

The book I’m working on right now was due Friday. Yes, sadly, the Friday five days ago. Matters out of my control caused the last book, and now this one, to be late, and I *hate* that. Hate it with a fiery passion.

So February is Writing Blitz Month for me, while I try to catch up.

Typically my daily word goal is 1100 words, which makes a book in about 4 months. That works out pretty well, generally. But right now my minimum goal is 1756 (a number which will look somewhat familiar to the NNWMers out there), which would put me at the anticipated length of this book by the end of March. That would…do. It’s not ideal, though, so I’m trying to do better.

This week it’s about nose to the grindstone. I’m aiming for 5K a day, Monday through Friday, with Saturday off. Goal for the week, including Sunday: 27,000 words.

Next week I’ve got a lot going on: a trip to Dublin for professional stuff, and holiday time with my husband. So I’m not doing the Blitz next week, and will settle for 2000 words a day, again with Saturdays off (I’ve learned that I really do need one day a week off). Week after that, The Blitz is on again.

Aiming for 80K this month, all told. I haven’t written that much in a month in a long time, but needs must, and I hope I can do it. I’ll settle for breaking 100K on the book (which I anticipate coming in around 140K), but if I can pull off 80,000 words in February I’ll be very pleased.

And that’s a fair bit of what this job really is about. You don’t wait for the muse. You don’t want for inspiration. You go sit down and you write, and the truth is that by the time you’re done with edits and revisions and polishing, nobody’ll be able to tell which parts were inspired and which parts were like pulling teeth.

Better get back to it. 🙂

*I don’t believe NNWM is for weenies. That was a joke. 🙂


3 comments to Nanowrimo Is For Weenies*

  • Good luck with the blitz, Catie.

    There is this romantic vision of the writer “out there,” particularly in American culture — movies and the like. This sense that we sit around waiting to be inspired, and then, when inspiration finally does come, after months of inactivity, we madly dash off a book in eleven days. I don’t know any professional writers who work that way. Writing is an art, to be sure. But it’s also an act of discipline and of will. It’s work. I love it; it’s fun. But it’s a job and has to be treated as such.

  • Hmmmm.
    I’ll post next week about my muse. Because after reading CE’s post, I just gave my muse a whip…

  • Michele Conti

    I think it should be pretty obvious to people that writing is a job. You don’t get paid to do something, unless it’s a job, so it makes sense that writing would be one. (Except for people who’ve yet to be published, and then it’s an aspiration and trying to get into a job position…)

    Really, it’s got to be similar to working any kind of job where traveling is a part of the job. You have a business trip to go to this town and spend this much time in a bookstore signing books, then you have to go back to your hotel room and write the quota for the day because if you don’t you’ll fall behind, and that’s never good. Sounds like work to me. Fun for the most part, but still work.

    I quite like my current job – I have fun with it for the most part. But, it’s still a job. Can’t just say “oh, don’t feel like going in today, guess I’ll sit at home and watch tv.” Nope, nope, nope… same goes for writers, whether its full time writing or part time writing – have to go to work.

    Though, there is something quite lovely about the romantic notion that a person can sit around and wait for some insightful burst of creativity to hit them and then be done in a month…then real life rears its ugly head.