Today I go into my eighth day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with just under 12,000 words written. I have participated in the annual November exercise, not always through the official site, every year since its inception. I haven’t completed the 50k word goal each year – I would say I’m about four for fifteen in that respect. Nonetheless, it’s a fun time and I learn something new each time I do it.

This time, I’m doing things a bit differently. Rather than focus all my words on one book, I’m counting words on various projects toward the final goal. It might not be how NaNo is supposed to work, since you’re encouraged to write a 50k word book, but it’s how I plan to do it. I have another segment of my Geek Overboard serial to write, and I’ve started another romance story – small-town contemporary – and it’s off to a good start. I won’t finish either work by November 30 because the serial has one more installment after this, but if I make the word count it’s all that matters to me.

NaNo has its critics. Some speculate that fifty thousand words written in November will be published in December. It’s possible if you have no regard for editing. The last time I finished a month-book it took a while to polish. I couldn’t inflict my work on the world unless I was comfortable with the editing and proofing.

With each passing year, I find it more challenging to get a thousand words down in a sitting, much less the 1667 average it takes to complete NaNo. Day job, growing child, Sunday School, people who desire my time – everybody has a chisel chipping away at my being and my time. When I’m flush with it, I’m too fried to think about working more and I turn on the TV. It makes me long for the days when I hand-wrote the first draft. I did that for Pithed and Little Flowers, and with one of the Lerxst books I spent an hour a day hiding in the Edgar Cayce library typing through lunch. It was like a writing cove – quiet and vibrating with energy. I’m thinking I might carve out an hour and renew that routine.

In the meantime, I’m still browsing for Pinterest boards on building the perfect she-shed writing exile. Lowe’s gift cards for Christmas would be much appreciated.