Writing fiction is a fun and rewarding experience. I recommend everyone does it.
That said, recently I haven’t had any time to do it. I haven’t thought about books – fiction books – that is, for a long time and I haven’t written about them for a long time either. I have found that seasonality plays into the projects I select. Over the spring and summer, I tend to focus on business stuff, affiliate marketing and other ventures. When the colder months come, I tend to enjoy sitting and writing without pause more.
So it makes sense that I might engage in the global phenomenon that is NaNoWriMo. I have done for the past three years. Twice successfully, once not so successfully.
In NaNoWriMo, you write a novel in one month.
I really don’t have time for that this year. I anticipate having to create one niche site per week. That’s my part time project. I’m also testing out a SAAS business, creating a massive online course, and playing around with a ton of other stuff. This is from a guy who says you should concentrate on a single project at a time.
As for Nanowrimo, I shouldn’t do it, but it holds a place in my consciousness. I started thinking of writing professionally in November 2013 with the idea in mind that I could easily write ten thousand words a day. That’s where I learned the secret to breaking writer’s block forever, and it set me up on a journey towards the current career, which you can see the fruits of by browsing this site.
Let’s talk about Nanowrimo. I’m going to do it because of the above reasons, and because I’ve attempted it every year since learning of it. I’m going to try again for year four, but with a few caveats.
What is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo is an abbreviation of National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to create a 50,000 word first draft of a novel by committing to write every day. If you write evenly, then that’s 1333 words a day.
The Problem with NaNoWriMo
The problem with NaNoWriMo is that it encourages people to write to a word limit, and not to anything else. There’s no control for standard of the book. There’s no aim to publish. I imagine that most nanowrimo applicants who win the challenge actually just leave a first draft, half-baked manuscript on their computer hard drive forever come December the first.
Also, writing a novel is tough, but there’s really no point in doing it if you’re not going to create something that sells. Every would-be novelist who writes the next great Dickensian masterpiece and then tells the world about it, (But nobody ever reads it, of course,) rolls the eyes of everyone around them.
So, let’s talk about the challenge I’m going to set myself. I recommend that anyone who actually wants to be an author tries this challenge.
NaNoWriMo+: We’re Like The Elite Of Authors (That’s Tongue In Cheek, by The Way)
This is the third concurrent challenge I have running on this site. The Niche Site Challenge and The Software Business Challenge (more on that tomorrow) are both similar despite being different in their scope, subject and intended results.
They’re similar because I’m creating something with a practical use, a practical set of criteria for success and a noticeable effect on the real world. (i.e. You have, by the end of it, a profitable website or a piece of software.)
The NaNoWriMo+ challenge is no different.
Ordinary NaNoWriMo 2016 – you write 1333 words per day. With the aim of creating a 50,000 word novel in one month as a first draft.
For this challenge, we’re going to address the problems above.
We’re going to write a novel as a first draft. We’re going to do minimal editing so that our first draft is good enough to be released without a rewrite. We’re going to write the blurb. We’re going to design a cover. Then, we’re going to release it.
I’m starting at 0 words on November 1st. On December 1st, the book will be released.
What’s more, I’m going to use a new pen name. I’m not going to hire anyone to do any other work for it. I’m going to do everything within one month. And I’m going to blog to update you all – probably once a week.
Oh, and just like the other challenges here – it’s part time, because clients are going to want me to write their Christmas sales stuff.
I can already feel how ludicrous this challenge is, but I have written about pulp fiction, the economics of writing quickly and the other day I even wrote that if you can write thousands of words a day, you re guaranteed to be successful.
Essentially, this challenge will prove that I’m right in my thinking and words, or it’ll prove I’m an idiot. Either way, it’ll be fun.
Another day, another stupid challenge I’ve set myself where I don’t have enough hours in the day already.
This one is time-limited to an extent that the other challenges aren’t, so there’ll be that extra dynamic as well. Also, it’s a relatively short window. I’ll update once a week (possibly a Friday – not sure. That’s when traffic is lowest, so either it’ll bump traffic or nobody will read the updates anyway. That’s my thinking.) In five weeks’ time, I’ll have succeeded or failed.
Anyone who enjoys writing fiction should leave comments – or better yet – don’t leave comments and we’ll convene in December, when you’ll no doubt have written your own NaNoWriMo 2016 book.
See you then!