I used NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as a tool to keep my first draft of Bayou Fire on track last year, so I thought I would use the same tool to work on my new short story collection entitled Bayou NonStandard Time. While I may not be able to write every day I will at least be able to track my progress.
I wrote a story yesterday, “A Letter from Ma-Maw,” that is the first entry into the collection. I have some others in progress at the moment (“Harmon’s Hope,” “Last Stop: Storyville,” “The River Man,” and “Down on the Corner of Love”) that I hope to have finished soon. So, while the writing ticker number is low at the moment, it will increase soon. I got another idea just this morning.
The nice thing about doing short fiction is that you can explore characters at different ages, find out about new characters, and hone your writing skills. They’re a great way to break through writer’s block, too; you’re focusing on something that works rather than something that isn’t. In my experience, that will help you come “unstuck” as a writer.
I didn’t “win” NaNoWriMo last year; in fact, I didn’t finish my first draft until December 29. However, I made measurable progress and felt encouraged by watching the ticker goes up. That’s all I’m asking of the July activity, too.
Have you done either Camp NaNoWriMo or the main November event? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments.