That’s right, November 1st. Time to write. Ok, sure every day is technically time to write, especially if you’re a writer.
NaNoWriMo, in case you don’t know, is National Novel Writing Month. The idea is straight forward. Write 50k words, in 30 days.
I saw a blog post about how NaNo launched a career and thought I’d share my own “How NaNoWriMo launched my career” post.
I’ve participated in NaNo off and on for about a decade. I’ve only (so far) ‘won’ once. In 2016.
That was Space Rogues.
The idea is you write 1667 words a day. That’s great, then you miss a day, now you need to write 3334 words. It’s thanksgiving, you see family, etc, skip writing a few days, and now you have to write 6668 words to get back on track (assuming you were on track by Thanksgiving). It can build up fast. Usually, I fell out around a week in when I took a weekend off, and now had to catch up, and didn’t quite know what I wanted to write.
None of that happened in 2016.
In 2016 I kept going. I had super productive days and no-writing days, but they averaged out. The stars aligned, conference work was light, etc. So I wrote. And around mid-month was like, “Holy shit. I’m still going, AND I’m ahead of the moving average!” And around noon on 11/30/16 I typed ‘the end’
I celebrated. I threw together a cover, I read it over once, let a few friends read it, then uploaded to Amazon (That was a bit premature, but oh well). I had ideas for Wil’s next adventure and couldn’t wait to tell them. I was excited and energized. I still am.
Now it’s 2019
I just put the first draft of Adventure Inc. to bed while I NaNo Space Rogues 6. I’ve spoken on a panel at a convention. I’ve got an Author Alley table at an upcoming convention. I’ve got a local author happy hour soon, and more. Things I never would have done had I not done NaNoWriMo 2016.
And of course, I’ve sold thousands of copies of my books. (About 16,000 this year, as of today).
Am I writing full time? No. Though I love doing my conferences so would likely do them even if I could (at least for now).
Am I a USA Today bestseller? Nope. Though that’s really more about your ability to market than anything else, not to diminish those who boast that accolade.
But I have gotten emails from fans telling me they like my work, which warms my heart.
Maybe one day you’ll see the crew of the Ghost on a screen but for now, you just have to use your imagination.
All of that to say, if I hadn’t won NaNoWriMo in 2016, I doubt I would have kept writing.