Ready, set … well maybe not

nanowrimo-2012-buttonsNovember 4, 2016 – National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) began this week.

This year, I’m not even going to kid myself and say I’ll participate as I have in past years since I’ve never hit my goal. While I greatly admire the thousands who have accepted the challenge, and are writing furiously as I complete this post, I need to set smaller goals for myself.

In case you don’t already know, NaNoWriMo is a unique way to approach writing a novel. Authors sign up on the website and agree to write 50,000 word novel by 11:59:59 on November 30. The challenge is in its 18th year, and more than 200,000 writers participate each November, with nearly 30,000 achieving the ultimate goal. That’s quite impressive.

The exercise isn’t about finishing an edited masterpiece in a month. For most of us that would be impossible. It’s about pushing the limits and achieving quantity over quality. It’s supposed to help you lower your expectations, take risks, write whatever pops into your head, and ultimately make you a better writer.

However, each writer approaches the craft differently, and I tried but found I don’t benefit from writing that way. I commit the mortal sin of drafting and editing as I go along. It works best for me.

Last month, I finished drafting a novel and hope to have the first 50 pages polished by November 22 since that would be a good day to submit a manuscript to a publisher, according to my Astrology Zone horoscope. How can I argue with logic like that?