Uses for NaNoWriMo

I’m attempting NaNoWriMo for the sixth time. From this one-month frenzy of writing I’ve gotten several very polished pieces of work. (lie)

It helps me create a daily writing habit and has encouraged me to connect with other writers in Columbia and elsewhere. (two lies)

The challenge of generating so many words in such a short period of time is exciting (true) and I feel a great sense of accomplishment after I’ve finished (usually true).

As a fiction writer, sometimes I need a spur – a kick in the pants – to write even if I’m not inspired to storytelling. (true)

When we talk about NaNoWriMo on our radio show, Write On SC, Rex berates me for wasting my time generating 50,000 words of unusable garbage. It’s really about the volume in NaNo, not the quality, and he’s very critical of wasting my stories on this event.

One year I wrote Being Blue, a vampire novel I’m on the 9th iteration of and still haven’t queried. I also wrote Chasing Asta, the follow-up to Blue, and haven’t done anything with it, either. One year I wrote Interstate Butterflies, a good contemporary fiction piece that is on schedule for revision (someday) as it’s in the vein of After December and Before Pittsburgh and may find a home with the same readers. I also wrote The Last Moon, of a similar vein, which is worth pursuing.

Then I wrote Lost Boys which is a working title and a project I adore but have no idea where it fits in the body of work. It’s not vampires but it is fantasy fiction.

This month I’m writing Son of a Vampire and I’m loving it. I grin at the end of each scene and can’t wait to see how it unfolds. This third installment in the Blue trilogy is giving me a framework for the whole series. I feel confident it will be 1) my best NaNo effort, and 2) the conclusion I need to go back and get Blue version 10 into shape enough to query while I work on completing Asta’s first revision.

See how NaNo works? It’s a creative tool, like any other, to get the writer writing. And I love it (true). Not just because it coincides with the month I get to put a mustache on my Jeep and have Thanksgiving brunch cocktails, but because it feels like the end of the year and the beginning of NEW and BIG things.

For inspiration alone, NaNoWriMo is worth the commitment.

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