Friday, November 11, 2011

NaNoWriMo or Not?

I'm doing NaNoWriMo, but I'm not officially on NaNoWriMo. Why? Because NaNoWriMo is all about writing - but writing isn't.

Besides which, I've got a full-time job that I love and want to keep, and I can't just drop my other manuscripts.

What do I do? I assign 'word count' values to related tasks such as editing, querying, and critiquing my critique partners' works, based on time spent compared to the time it takes me to write.

Example: it takes me about 2 continuous hours, on average, to write 1.667K (the average word count if you divide 50K words by 30 days). So if I spend 1 hour on revisions, I've 'written' about 800 words. This way, I'm never overwhelmed with an insurmountable amount of work for a single day, and thus I don't face getting burnt out in the career I'd like to one day retire from.

I do not count social-media activities such as blogging or posting as writing word counts, because that is what I consider publicity-related business. I need to know what portion of my time those will take on their own, because that's a time investment of its own and I would like to see what the return is per time invested. Nor do I count extra-curricular writing on projects I have no intention of publishing.

The downside is that I always feel like I'd be cheating to add that to an official NaNoWriMo wordcount, so I don't sign up. Yet to me, NaNoWriMo is about encouraging productivity, creating good writing habits, and cheering other writers on. That's why I still say I'm doing NaNoWriMo, just not officially - because I really support the NaNoWriMo spirit.

What about you? How do you deal with revisions and editing during your NaNoWriMo?

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