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NaNoWriMo 2016 – A Manifesto

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Well, here we are again, ladies and gentlemen and all things in between! November looms ahead, and with it, the trial by fire we all as writers go through at some point or another: National Novel Writing Month.

I have had several failed attempts at NaNoWriMo. Well, failed if you take it straight at its face value, that you either arrive in December with a rough draft of a manuscript or die trying. I like to consider them successes. The year I only wrote around ten thousand words? That was the month I wrote ten thousand more than the month before, so I counted it as a small success. The year I first attended a Write In event, and pushed that ten thousand to twenty five? Yeah, technically, I still failed, but I considered it a huge success in figuring out what helps me produce more words.

This year, I’m taking a different approach to the usual routine. I’m going to try looking at NaNoWriMo as a chance to create not necessarily a rough draft of a manuscript, but a set of good habits. I’m starting to see that, at least for me, NaNo is less about what you’re writing, and more about the fact that you’re writing. It’s about the communal pressure – and support! – to write every single day. It might not always be on a fresh manuscript idea. It might not always be on the same concept. But as long as I’m writing every day, I’ll consider it a success towards building good writing habits.

I’ll be looking at building the following rules into my daily routine:

So, like all my other NaNo attempts, I probably won’t emerge with a finished rough draft. But hopefully I will come out with some solid writing habits that will produce many rough drafts, and revisions, and blog posts, and on and on and on…

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