I make very few promises to myself, especially when it comes to my novel writing habits. It seems like the more interested I got in delivering content to my blog (which you can totally help me with, FYI), the less interested I became in delivering words to my WIP. This is probably (read: definitely) why I bombed at Camp NaNoWriMo this past April.
Like ‘19K words of a 35K word count’ bombed…
Even though I eventually put the manuscript to rest and acknowledged that the words just weren’t flowing as I had anticipated, I still felt a bit defeated for not reaching goal. I had to step back and figure out how to best approach July’s Camp more effectively. This even is of dual importance; not only am I avenging myself for the April loss but I will be drafting the first book of the tentatively titled Cougarette spinoff series, The Laney Project. This character is very special to both myself and my readers so I feel compelled and empowered to do her justice.
I cannot flake out or give up. I have to own Camp NaNo this July!
Based on the following three steps, I am making a promise before you and Prince that I will finish the challenge this go-round:
Set a Reasonable Word Count Goal – While the natural inclination with NaNo events is to shoot for at least 50K, I will be attempting a nice, even-keeled 30K goal. Combined with all of the other commitments I have in my life (marriage, kids, full-time career, blogging, reading, exercising, mainlining wine), thirty thousand words is a lot to ask from myself. One thing I learned from April’s defeat is that I wasn’t honest with myself about what I was able to do. I’m a busy chick – there’s no need for me to run myself ragged chasing words I won’t have time to write.
Keep a Writing Schedule – SO much easier said than done for me. I have awesome writer buddies (example of aforementioned awesomeness: Paulina Woods) who insist that fellow authors should write daily.
And I do…sometimes.
Most of the time.
Do grocery lists count?
I could go on and on about how schedules bore me to tears but shit, it’s true. I’m never on time and Microsoft Project sheets make my face frown. But in order to succeed this July, I need to rewire myself and commit to a minimum of thirty minutes of NaNo writing daily. Eighteen hundred seconds a day devoted to nothing but this book. I’m even committing to putting it on my Outlook calendar. It’s a must.
Give Laney Her Own Voice – As I mentioned before, my NaNo project will be a spinoff of the Cougarette series. I feel like I know only one side of the lady-loving, straight-talking Laney Townes: BFF and life coach to the Cougarette, CeeCee Banks. Writing her from that perspective was fun, enlightening, and remains some of the best dialogue I’ve ever written. That said, I want to make sure that the final draft of this project provides the reader with a multi-dimensional view of Laney. One way I am attempting to do that is by asking myself questions about Laney that have nothing to do with her friendship with CeeCee: Where was she born? Who were her parents? When was her first sexual experience with a woman? What’s her best career advice? How does she co-parent with her ex-wife Roxy?
These goals have me fired up to do my thing in July and I hope they’ve inspired my fellow writers as well. Wish me luck (and remind me daily to write via Twitter!).