With my horrendously busy schedule, taking on a time-consuming challenge such as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) seems utterly foolish. With homeschooling two teen boys, teaching two concurrent year-long expository essay courses at our homeschool group's twice-monthly co-op Class Days, plus teaching an online literary analysis class at Brave Writer on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby--all of these activities will definitely keep me on my toes this month.
So why add writing a 50,000 word novel in a mere 30 days?
Because I need to.
Currently I publish my novels online, and up until January, I had posted a new chapter each week on a fairly regular basis. But my newest novel is coming along much more slowly, partially because these chapters are averaging 4,000-5,000 words while my other two novels averaged 2500-3000 words per chapter, and partially because I just haven't had much free time. (I'm still flattered that my novels and stories have garnered 3 million+ reads/hits on the two websites!!)
I just posted the tenth chapter (not counting the prologue) of my third novel this week; thus, I've only posted ten chapters over seven months. Not a great record.
So although my ultimate goal is to finish NaNoWriMo with a fifth "win" to my name when I complete 50,000 words in 30 days, my more realistic goal is to just get some chapters roughed out so that I can post chapters twice monthly.When I polled my readers, I received nearly unanimous encouragement to post the longer chapters every two weeks rather than shorter but weekly chapters.
In addition, in the midst of teaching and grading essays and assignments, I just really need to take a step back from the busy-ness that is my life and give myself permission to express myself creatively. Although I only started writing fiction with NaNoWriMo 2008, I have come to love the freedom of writing fiction, of following my characters in my mind and watching them in action, then jotting down what they say and do. Writing is relaxing for me, providing an excellent break from being teacher and editor/grader as I am on a daily basis.
Plus, I also offer my expository essay students extra credit for participating in NaNoWriMo: they receive one extra credit point for every 1,000 words they log on the site. So I would feel like a heel for not participating alongside them.
And my novel is entering a very intriguing stage, and I can't wait to see what happens next!! :D
If you are joining the NaNoWriMo Adventure, please add me to your buddy list; my user name is SusanneB --no period following. :)
So we'll see how far I can get in NaNoWriMo 2013!!