NaNoWriMo 2019 will be different

Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! I’ve recently gotten back from a trip to New York to see family and visit Sleepy Hollow, which I loosely chronicled on my Instagram. While I was there, I kept writing scenes for my novel The Hollow Bones, and I’ve started to feel somewhat comfortable with starting the editing process in the near future. Incidentally, I also realize that a lot of writers I know are gearing up for NaNoWriMo, which starts next month, and I have no plans to start another story this November. (It doesn’t help that I may also be nursing a cold over the next few days, so that’s taking priority at the moment.)

In the two years I’ve done NaNoWriMo, I’ve focused on the novel WIPs I had at the time (or any other stories that come into my mind during that month), but I also have noticed a really bad habit I have of completely dropping a project for the new story idea in my mind, so all 35-40 (!!!) story ideas I have are often permanently in the purgatorial space between first draft and fully-revised second draft. This is a habit that I need to work through if I’m going to get any of my novels published as I’m hoping to do.

This year for NaNoWriMo, I plan to edit The Hollow Bones and get it ready for beta readers. This would, embarrassingly, be the first book that I’m officially editing with the intention to send it off to a professional editor for a second pass, and I’m terrified. I’m terrified that I’ll miss a mistake and I’ll never hear the end of it on social media. I’m terrified that I won’t take the story in the direction that would be best for the plot development. I’m terrified of the comments from beta readers and the imminent realm of oblivion that is the querying process.

I’m terrified, but regardless, I’m editing my novel, and I plan to publish it.

One of the writing podcasts I follow (I’m pretty sure it was Write Now with Sarah Werner) gave me the unpleasant but nonetheless necessary reminder that “done is better than perfect”, and this may be a great example of this reminder. The publishing process is about letting go, as terrifying as it is. Hopefully, with focusing on editing and making it ready to go to the readers, it won’t be as terrifying later.

Has anyone edited a book during NaNoWriMo? How did it work for you? Please let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

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