I love Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) Its helped me write two novels, and I think its a great way to get out of a slump. However, im going to argue with myself here a little bit over it. Some downsides to it that I have found and what I'm doing instead this year.
I had tried Nanowrimo a few years and it never amounted to much of anything. Those projects are just half written drafts sitting in the back crawl space of my laptop. However the last two years, I have written at least 50,000 words for each year. It helped me get out of my insecurity with my writing, I was too caught up in what people would think about my writing, and about me. I was so hard on myself (still am) but nano pushed me to not obsess and to just simply write no matter how terrible it is.
And in 2019, I had my best writing experience yet. I sat down with this story idea that I was never going to share with anyone. I was going to write simply and purely for myself and then lock it up when I was done to never look at it again. I wrote about what I wanted to live, so I ended up creating this beautiful place with characters I fell in love with and I loved every single moment of writing that book. I wrote endlessly and I was just so excited to dive into that world again everyday. Then as nanowrimo rules, you're supposed to end on that last day of November and rest. Which if its a hard month of writing and you're burned out is a great. but if you're still going strong, and then you stop your momentum, it hurts you. I was dreading having to be done with that story. so I kept writing, I ended up making it over 110,000 words and honestly could have kept going, but in my head I was stuck on this idea of writing It fast and being done and letting no-one see it. So I saved and closed and mourned the loss of it for months. I kept missing it and the characters. but I kept telling myself to move on, think of something new. So I spent months, not reading, not writing, because I was feeling so uninspired, I didn't want to write anything else. Everything I wrote came back to a similar plot to the old one (are you seeing the mirror to a relationship yet? dating someone who reminds you of the ex?) So I was sitting on the counter last night, venting to my family about what to write about in November and that I will have to force myself to write something and anything, I have a few different rough outlines and story ideas I was trying to chose between then it hit me.
I don't have to do nanowrimo. I don't have to write a brand new 50,000 word novel if I didn't want to. And I can take this dedicated time, and great resources nano has put out to work back on my book from last year. dive back in and fix it and make it better. So whether you're going to tackle nanowrimo or tackle an old project, or maybe take this month to even just read a novel for the first time in forever.Do it. find what works for you. and who knows maybe last minute I will find something to write, or something to rewrite...