Starting tomorrow morning I will be joining forces with legions of other writers who have committed themselves to writing 50,000 words during November for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Some of you are undoubtedly wondering why I would want to do such a thing when I am currently revising my novel Lost Girl Road. Here are the best reasons I can come up with for subjecting myself to the NaNoWriMo madness:
- I need to draft some more short stories so I can start submitting them to literary journals. The stories I’ve already self-published in Such is Life are not eligible.
- I would like to publish another eBook by the end of this coming April. The focus will be on travel memoirs.
- Drafting my novel has taken place in fits and starts. It’s imperative that I re-capture a sense of urgency in my drafting process if I am to move forward.
My NaNoWriMo Plan of Action
Based on the speed of progress on my novel, some of you might be wondering if I can pull this off. Rest assured, each writer tackles the process in a different way. I know myself and my capabilities. My ever-cautious self tends to over-think things, which is its own blessing and curse.
- I will aim to write 2,000 words a day. November has 30 days. I will not be writing on four of the five Saturdays of the month, nor will I write on Thanksgiving.
- Two hours have been set aside each morning to accomplish this task. It’s imperative I reach my word count before engaging with social media, email, blog posts and comments, novel revisions, and editing projects. Distractions must be kept at bay!
- My daily word count will only include short stories and creative nonfiction, not blog posts, journal entries, or progress on my novel.
- To help break my self-editing habit, I will hear a rubberband around my wrist that I will snap when I pause to ponder my sentences. The only ovement my cursor makes on the page must be forward movement. No revising!
Short Stories Ideas for NaNoWriMo
As I’d hoped, my current internship with The Idaho Review has helped spark my motivation as a writer. I will kick off NaNoWriMo by drafting a few short stories that I can later polish and start submitting to literary journals. Such journals typically only ask for first rights, and then the stories once published will be mine to do with as I please. I’m the type of writer who wears her heart close to her sleeve. The collection’s tentative title Childfree Choices makes it apparent I’ll be using the stories to sort through my feelings on the issue. The first three stories will be titled “Beauty Shop Baby Talk,” “Dolly Down the Stairs,” and “Women of a Certain Age.” From there, other titles and plots related to being childree are messily scrawled in my writer’s notebook.
Travel Memoirs for NaNoWriMo
Early on in my self-publishing endeavors, I hastily published a travel essay titled “The Vacation Vaccination.” For numerous reasons, the effort was not quite ready for prime time, and I unpublished it on Amazon. Alas, books can’t be removed from the GoodReads library. My plan of attack is to now revise my personal essay of an ill-fated trip to Yosemite National Park. Plus, I will be adding more short memoirs that cover the time I spent living and working in Yellowstone and Everglades National Parks. The working title will be The National Park Experience, and I hope to explore the title’s implications based on my encounters with the park system.