NaNoLogoMan, I love a goal setting exercise. Mix it in with a bit of global writing love with a side order of competition and I am in!

Last year I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a global writing movement where the goal is to write 50,000 words of a  novel in 30 days.

I didn’t do it last year. I had too much on, I had to wash my hair for the whole month, the dog ate my computer – you know, those normal sort of excuses you make when you’re too bloody scared to give something a crack because you’ve got a very strong feeling you’ll fail.

But this year I poo poo’ed my fear of failure. Once I discovered there was a graph – a graph!! – that tracks the amount of words you have written, I was in. Boots and all. If anyone else is a bit of a goal nut and needs instant affirmation of a job well done, they’d understand the importance of that graph.

The humble graph. A graphical representation of you winning (even if it’s just yourself you’re competing against).

Plus, I’ve made the space in my life for it now. Although I’m still trying to work out how to do NaNoWriMo, complete the Travel Writing Course I am doing online with the Australian Writer’s Centre AND complete the Write an Ebook in 30 Day Challenge I also signed up for.

Meh -what can you do?

Just write.

I particularly loved the advice I heard from Australian author Allison Tait on the So You Want To Be a Writer podcast last week (long time listener first time hyper-linker).

“Treat it as a first draft, a very rough one at that. There are days with Nano I write 3000 words and other days I write 400 words. It’s really an exercise in getting words written. Look at it like that. It’s getting you into a writing habit. Once you get started in November and into the momentum of it, the impetus of it continues on and you will hopefully finish what you started even if you don’t get to the 50,00 words in November.”

My out.

Awesome.

I have had the idea of a novel bubbling away for a year now. I even have a designer working on the logo and artwork around the book because I’m going to be putting it online. But I just had one chapter for eight months – eight months!

So for me, NaNoWriMo is about getting into that writing habit. Putting aside time EVERY day to write. Not pushing it aside because it’s not bringing in any revenue. That’s what I’ve done for eight months and I only have one chapter to show for it.

So I will be typing away, creating that writing habit and tracking my progress on my graph because you know, graphs.

And even if I have just 10,000 words at the end of the month, that’s 10,000 more words than I had at the start.

And I’ll have a graph.

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?