NaNoWriMo 2021

Image courtesy of NaNoWriMo

Yup, looks like I’ve signed up to do NaNo again this year. If there’s one thing walking to work and back every day does, it gives you time to think things through.

I’m very busy doing a lot of work. I’m currently ghostwriting not one but two novels. One is a Regency romance, the other is a contemporary story. Both need a certain amount of research doing, although I’m getting quite familiar with the Regency era. I’m also editing for a third client too.

In amongst that, I don’t want to lose sight of my own work. I’ve done that before, and it makes me resent the work I am doing. Saying that, I’ve had to waive client #4 for the time being and I’ve put a hold on any other new work until at least January – from new or existing clients.

Starting Words Worth Reading gave me a solid excuse to keep on top of my own writing as well. When I first thought about it, it was going to be a monthly collection of my own fiction. Then, as the practicalities set in, we decided it might be better suited as a bi-monthly.

Now I’m thinking that the first four issues at least should be quarterly. This isn’t a cop-out. It’s a realistic time-frame within which I can more practically write new material. For example:

  • There is a novel serialised in there. At the moment, I only have one complete novel written. Night Crawler.
  • There is also a complete novella in there. At the moment, I only have one complete novella written. Mardi Gras.
  • There is also a brand-new episode for a series of short stories in there. At the moment, I only have one complete series episode written. The Ace of Wands.
  • There are also two brand-new completely standalone short stories in there. At the moment, I only have two complete brand-new standalone short stories. The Girl on the Bench and The Most Scariest Night of the Year.
  • There is also one short story from the archives in there. At the moment, I have loads of archive short stories that have been previously published or broadcast.
  • Each of these completed items has already been used in Words Worth Reading Issue 1. (Part 1 of 4 for the novel serialisation.)

If I am to keep this collection populated with as much fresh material as possible, then issuing it monthly means I have to write one new novella, one new episode, and two new stories every month. And after I’ve finished serialising this novel (four parts), I need to have another one ready.

For as long as I am doing work for other people, whether that be ghostwriting or editing, I simply do not have the time nor the creative capacity to write what is essentially 55,000 – 60,000 new words every month on short stories and novellas alone.

PLUS I have to factor in a novel, which would be around the 20,000-word mark per month.

I already write 15,000 words per week for clients.

I write 10,000 words per week for the Regency romance ghostwriting gig alone. I also write 10,000 words per fortnight for the contemporary novel ghostwriting gig. In a 4-week month, that’s 60,000 words. In a 5-week month it’s 75,000 words.

Producing Words Worth Reading every two months will be easier. But I still think the bar might be a little bit high, at least for as long as I have to take in other work. I’d also like to send some of the new short stories off on their rounds, so that in the future they become archive stories. That means I won’t be able to use them straight away.

So the first four issues will be quarterly, which means Issue 2 will be out in January…

… and that means I can write a complete 50,000-word novella for NaNoWriMo 2021 in November and work on it during December so it can go into the collection in January and be published in its own right… after then.

I have 20 working days in November (we’ve booked 4 days off each because the poet had a load to use up from work). The NaNoWriMo challenge is to write 50,000 words in a month.

That means I have to write 2,500 words per working day, unless I feel like doing any on any of the days off. NaNoWriMo is the only time I might plan to work at the weekends. I do occasionally end up working at the weekend anyway. But I’m more prepared to do that during November.

As Words Worth Reading is around the 55,000-word mark, I could, theoretically, use the time to fill a monthly collection. But as the (now) January issue will need a brand-new novella, I’m seriously toying with making it the novella.

Whichever I decide on in the end, that’s still 110,000 words that need to be written during November. Or 2,000 + 1,000 + 2,500 = 5,500 words written in a day. Broken down like that, it’s more doable. And if I don’t do NaNo, then I still have to produce the same or more words of my own, just to keep the stock rolling.

Something to think about over the weekend. I also need to find a new word meter, as the old one, the little man, used Shockwave and Shockwave isn’t available anymore. 😞

Have a good one!