Every year, for about 26-29 days, NaNoWriMo completely takes over my life. Actually, it's more than that, because I usually start making my plans for NaNoWriMo way before November hits. Sometime around July or August I start brainstorming ideas, then I use September and October to try to do any research that I might need for those ideas.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I even end up changing my mind altogether at the last minute and go with something else entirely. But it almost always makes me feel like it's going to work.
And this year, I followed the same process. Although my dilemma this year was limited to two choices: Kiss of Dust (a historical fiction which I had started months ago, got 7,000 words in and have neglected since) or a new project that I had dreamed up a few weeks ago.
I don't have a good, working title for the new one. The closest I have right now is “Fate and Love” so that's what I am going with for right now. It's paranormal romance. And I'm super excited about it. So because of my level of excitement, I went with the paranormal romance.
Usually the week before NaNoWriMo is spent trying to make sure I can be prepared to devote time to NaNoWriMo. That means finishing up projects for clients, Fall cleaning (very similar to Spring Cleaning, but, you guessed it, happens in the Fall), getting a few meals made and in the freezer, and stocking up on the essentials (coffee, twizzlers, coffee, notepads, pens, coffee, pencils, and coffee). But this year, the week before NaNoWriMo threw me for a loop.
This year, my aunt died during the last week of October. So that meant a week of making preparations for a memorial, making all the arrangements, dealing with visiting family members from out of town, and all the other responsibilities that come with handling a death in the family. So that left me with not enough time to handle my normal nanowrimo-preparation-to-do list. So this year I based my decision on which project to devote November to based on my excitement.
Just like with anything, the more excitement you have about something, the more energy you will pour into it and the more motivated you can stay with it.
And like every year, I sat up until Midnight on October 31 at the ready. Posting in my various writing groups, Facebook groups, and Twitter. Normally this momentum would keep me going until 5 or 6 in the morning, at which time I would lay down on the sofa for a nap and spring back up for my daily activities in a few hours. But do you know what happened this year?
My 1:30 I was ready for sleep. Dozing off at the keyboard.
Thus is the side effect of getting older, I suppose.
So, this year I have more clients than I normally have to write for in November, I spent less time prepping and less time researching, and I'm learning the hard way that I don't have the sit-and-type-stamina of years past. But I am nonetheless determined to get through my 50,000 words. And still finish my clients' work.
And next year… I might start my NaNoWriMo prep a month earlier… Just in case