Switching gears for NaNoWriMo

I'm rethinking writing book 3 this month. NaNo isn't working for me, not the way it has in the past. With my work schedule the way it is (it's been a week since I was able to write), I just can't approach it full speed with a new project. I'm sitting here with the laptop and finally a chance to write and I'm at a loss of what to do with this book. Partly it's because I had next to no time last month to outline so my usual solution of getting unstuck- jumping ahead and writing a more interesting scene- isn't working because I don't know what the heck the other scenes are. Add in the fact that I didn't have a chance to sort out book 2 after I figured out why that plot wasn't working last month... I'm struggling to figure out what goes into book 3 without having a firm basis of book 2. (I thought I'd be okay just diving into 3 since it's a new adventure for the characters, but I keep hitting walls caused by not knowing what happened in 2.) After days of not writing I find myself floundering. Where was I? What the heck was I going to write next? What were my characters thinking and feeling when I left off?

Yeah, I can't just do this NaNo the way I did in the previous years. Those times I had a decent outline and plenty of time to write. I could build each day on what I'd written the day before, so even where my outline had a gap, I could still blunder my way ahead because it was fresh in my mind. I already know I'm going to end up a NaNo rebel this month because I lowered my personal target word count. I may as well embrace being a rebel fully. I think what I might do is go back to my rewrite of book 1. With that one I have a full idea of the plot and a pretty complete outline. I'm hoping that I'll be able to stay focused even with days away from it because I'm familiar with the story. And if I get inspiration to write scenes from books 2 or 3? I'll write those scenes. Anything to get words out because right now I'm not getting any words.

Right now any words I gain this month are more important than trying to play by NaNo's rules. Any kind of progress is ideal and I think I'd make the most progress writing something I'm more familiar with. Or maybe I'll change my mind and write another short story about the world/characters. As long as I'm writing something, I don't really care what it is!

Long post is long, but I think I feel a lot better now. Just because I "lose" at NaNo doesn't make me less of a writer. I write year-round. I have a series in the works. I'm an author. If that means going at my own speed this year, so be it. :)




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