For a little change and a little challenge, I took on participating in NaNoWriMo this year. The background to taking that on comes from my day job workplace, a public library, where the youth team are working to encourage young writers to participate. I’m going to run a couple of workshops for in the Youth Space too.
NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, held every November. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in the thirty days. That works out around 1667 words a day. In any given month I write more than that so it’s manageable. This is the first time, though, that I’ve started a novel intentionally on the first of the month, targeting a finish by the last day. Mostly my novels come in around 60,000 words. Sometimes they spill over to 70,000, even 75,000.
NaNoWriMo is a funny thing, though. Signing up is cool and it’s nifty recording my word count each day as I progress toward that target. They have pep talks and encouragement, but sometimes miss the mark.
The first one I came received, from a well-published and award-winning writer talked about how “writing is hard”. Really? Sorry NaNoWriMo, that’s no pep talk. That sounds discouraging. I did read the whole of the ‘pep’ talk and it wasn’t really to my taste, wasn’t really talking to me.
I would have loved something about how writing is fun. It’s a blast. You’re making up stuff just for the heck of it. Because you can. I would suggest that if it’s hard you might be doing it wrong, or coming at it from the wrong approach. And if it’s not fun, go do something that is.
Last year I railed against an article in the Sunday Star Times* titled if “Writing is torture and you hate it, you might be a writer”. What is the deal out there with so many people writing about how tough writing is? Let’s encourage writers rather than put them off.
*[In previous years I also railed against the T&C of the SSTimes story contest which were a rights grab. I noticed this year that they’ve updated the terms to drop that grab. Good on them, finally. Sorry I didn’t notice this until the contest closed – I guess I’d become cynical about it over the years.]
On a lighter note, I am having a blast writing this novel. It’s fun and different and once it’s had a once-over and a copy-edit and a proof-read, it should be out sometime in the first half of next year.
Oh, yes, about next year. I’m looking at publishing a little less. Publishing ten novels (albiet one of them a short novel), a few novellas and numerous short stories this year has been good, but I still need to learn marketing better, and social media [talking about something that’s hard – try social media… oh, what, that’s easy? I wish I found it easy… it doesn’t come naturally to me, so I need to practice I guess 🙂 ]. I do have three novels in various stages of preparation to be released through the first half of the year, likely to be February, April and June. Another focus next year will be collections – I have a whole lot of stories that I’ll gather together. Including all the Cole Wright shorts from this year. Considering the title No Lack of Courage. Cheesy? Corny? I don’t know. It’ll be nice to have them all together in a single book.
The last novel for this year will be the sixth in the Cole Wright thriller series, Zero Kills. It should be up for preorder soon. The cover it a little different from the original, but matches the story better. (cheeky me, I’ll reuse that original image on another book, maybe next year).
I’ll have another short story – “Junkyard Mornings” up for free in early December for a week or so. You know, marketing and promotion. Reader magnet or what have you.
Thanks for reading.