The challenge consists of writing a 50,000 words short novel (about 250 pages I believe) in one month. That breaks down to about 1,666 words a day.
I did this in 2009. Like running a first marathon, the first NaNoWriMo was all about committing to and finishing the damn thing. It wasn’t an exercise of skill but one of crossing the finish line, no matter how half-assed or despite the high hopes I had starting out.
I was proud of myself for making goal. Writing that much every day, not knowing where the story is going because I do know planning is difficult.
I also swore at the time I would take some time off and revisit the novel, an opus of rushed words, jumbled themes and ideas. Two years later, I never had the heart, time, or desire to revisit it.
I skipped the challenge last year. My running was increasing at the time and I had other goals (like preparing to actually run that first marathon on May 1, 2011). I felt a pinch of guilt, because as I wrote about writing before I do have this desire, delusion, whatever to write, and more importantly be published.
I was going to skip the fiction writing again this year, but was drawn back to at least make that attempt, because really, right now, I’m bored. And no matter how lame the challenge I need to do some goal setting and revisiting.
Like planning to run another marathon, I’ve decided this NaNoWriMo is about trying to learn some finesse.