I've never made it a secret that I'm not a big fan of NaNoWriMo. The idea of pushing myself to write on someone else's schedule doesn't sit well with me. And I find the whole community aspect to be possibly more distracting than helpful. Don't get me wrong. I get why people take part every year, and if it works for them, I think that's wonderful. It's just that up until now, the idea hasn't worked for me.

November is a busy month for me. The holidays start rolling around (I decorate for Christmas on Black Friday, so the last week of the month is particularly harsh). And it's often one of my busiest client periods of the year. I don't know what it is about Thanksgiving time, but I usually get slammed by requests on the holiday and the day after. Trying to write 50k words of fiction on top of that? No thanks.

This year things are even crazier with our house on the market. We're trying to decide whether to keep it listed or pull it off until spring when buying picks back up. I have a lot on my plate. In a recent post I explained why I took several months off from work, and the house was a part of that. But now that's precisely why something like NaNo is just what I need -- a kick in the pants.

I can't afford to jump back into work slowly. Projects have been sitting by for far too long. My hope is that taking part in NaNoWriMo might push me to make some serious progress on some of those projects before December rolls around and things get even more hectic holiday-wise.

My NaNoWriMo Plan

I'm going the "rebel" route with NaNo for my first year. I'm not starting something from scratch. I'm continuing a mystery novel (the first in a planned series) that I've struggled with.

I lost my original first few chapters quite a while back. My hard drive was fried, and the back up flash drive ended up being corrupt. I rewrote that material and continued with several other chapters. But I wasn't feeling it.

For NaNo this year, I'm scrapping all but the first two chapters of the new version of the manuscript, and I'm picking up the story from there. I deviated a bit too far from the outline the last time and the story lost its way.

But you know me. I never have just one thing going on. And NaNoWriMo is no different. Another reason I'm in the rebel group this year is because I'm pursuing two series of shorter works in addition to the novel. One is a horror short story series. I have a couple of stories written already, but I want to have one or two more drafted by the end of November. The other is a series of picture books. I hope to get at least two of these manuscripts together next month. My plan is to have a few stories in each series ready to go before I send them off for edits.

If you want to follow along with my progress on these and other projects, just check out the sidebar here on the blog. I'll periodically update my word count for the novel and my story count for the other two series there. (I don't expect to have 20 horror short stories next month. That's the long-term goal before publishing them as a collection.)

Anyone else here taking part in NaNoWriMo? If you've done so before, how did it work out for you? If it's your first time, why did you choose to take part now?

Word Count Trackers for NaNoWriMo Authors

Don't forget. I have a free word count tracker you can use to share your NaNoWriMo progress on your website or blog. Give it a try.

Word Count Tracker