I’ve done NaNoWriMo several times over the past decade or so and for the first few years, I just followed the edict of starting a new novel and writing 50,000 words. I wasn’t trying to push myself because I was new to the whole NaNoWriMo thing and I didn’t want to make waves. The thing is, though, that I didn’t have a hard time with this goal. I am verbose and can write for days. Or at least, I could in pre-pandemic times. I’ve been struggling in the past few months, churning out fiction that was functional, but didn’t have that pizzazz to it. I’m not unique in this as I’ve read and heard that many people are having difficulty concentrating on daily tasks.
For the past few years, I’ve set the goal of writing 2,000 words of fiction a day. I’ve done it almost every day (I think it’s every day, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed one every year or so). That means that I’m meeting the NaNoWriMo number count every month. What I’m saying is that it ain’t no thing. And, yes, it’s a not-so-humble brag. I know there’s no way to say it without sounding arrogant so I’m just laying it on the line. I will add that I have a flexible schedule and plenty of time to do it in, which helps a ton. However, I can take a modicum of pride in the fact that I do it every day because many people don’t, even with good intentions.
I started getting bored with NaNoWriMo. One year, I decided to set a goal of 5,000 words a day. I made it and then some, which was amazing. I didn’t do NaNoWriMo for a few years because I was bored with it, to be frank. There was no challenge except whatever I added to the basic formula. When I went back to it, I decided that I would add my own twist. One year, I edited a novel instead of writing one. One year, I worked on an existing novel. Last year, I think I did the same thing. I looked it up. I just wrote about whatever I wanted to write about apparently.
Last year, I became aware that there’s a subset of people who do NaNoWriMo but with their own goals. They call themselves NaNo Rebels. They do whatever they want within the month of November as long as it has something tangentially-related to writing and it spoke to me. I liked the idea of being a rebel so I embraced the name to my bosom.