Truth and Dare: The Non-NaNo Challenge

Here's the "truth" part of today's Truth and Dare: 

In all of my time as a writer, I've never NaNo-ed. 

I'll wait while you all gasp and clutch your pearls and such. (Teehee…) 

But truth be told, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for anyone uninitiated who happens to be reading this blog) has never rolled around at the right time for my writing process. For instance, last November, I was in the thick of the second-round revision of my debut novel. This year, I turned in my new book's first draft in October, then went on a celebratory trip to Paris that bled into the first week of November. I'm spending the rest of this month revising an old YA project that I'm converting into middle-grade while I await my editor's notes on the new YA book. In short: now's not the right time to try to draft 50,000 new words. 

But, you might be arguing, plenty of people are busy in November—it does include Thanksgiving, after all—and still do NaNoWriMo. Lots of writers miss a few days of NaNo and still pull it off, or shuffle around projects to accommodate a NaNo manuscript. How come I haven't at least given it a shot? The short answer is, I want to. Eventually. But since I've never done it before, I want my first attempt to be doing it *right*—using all 30 days, putting all of my focus on the draft, etc. Maybe you're the same way.  

It can feel weird to be a non-NaNo-er in this month where it seems everyone—novices and veterans alike—is working on a novel. But as I'm reading all of the NaNo-related posts in my Twitter feed, I still feel incredibly inspired. There's something magical about setting aside an arbitrary month (why November? I have no idea!) and saying, "We're all going to write 50,000 words, whatever it takes." It makes me want to give my own goal-setting a kick in the pants. 

And thus we come to the "dare" part of this post: 

To all of my fellow non-NaNo-ers out there: I dare you to make a challenging goal for your own writing over the next few months. Come up with something that will push you, but isn't outside the realm of possibility. After all, while it's difficult to win NaNoWriMo, it's certainly not impossible. Plenty of people accomplish it. So consider what you want to accomplish and how you can push yourself toward that goal. My current plan has to do with the YA-turned-MG manuscript I mentioned earlier. I'm trying to finish making the manuscript middle-grade before I receive my editor's notes on my new under-contract book in December. The catch—I don't know exactly when I'll get that editorial letter. But that's just more incentive to whip this fledgling MG book into shape fast, right? 

Do you accept my NaNo-inspired dare? Want to end our Fall Writing Bootcamp with a bang? Share your dare to yourself in the comments! 

Happy writing,