While all two of my audience members already know that I’m signed up for NaNoWriMo this year, I thought I’d like to elaborate a little on what I am trying to do.
Ever since I heard NaNo existed (three weeks into it, last year,) I’ve wanted to do NaNo. With my recent readings on creativity, efficiency, and so forth, NaNo also offers me an opportunity to test some stuff.
Basically, I am setting up a new schedule. Features include plenty of sleep, some exercise, some time with my wife, and time spent on more spiritual pursuits. It is a non-burnout pace that is directly at odds with the NaNo philosophy of charge forward and damn the consequences.
To succeed at Nano, you have to write about 1,666 words per day. Instead of writing every day, though, my planned schedule sets out 90 minute blocks for total focus on my project, along with blocks set aside for exercise, and for working on the tentatively titled Belfry, which was The Strawman Argument: a cartoon/YouTube Catechism I’ve been wanting to make since YouTube was a thing. I consider it a tithe of my creativity.
There is only one Belfry block per week, and five full-power project blocks, and a project-block lite at the end of my work week with only an hour on the clock. Pretending that one doesn’t count, and glancing over a calendar, that gives me 22 90-minute blocks for NaNo. That means I need to average about 2,273 words per block (so, 4,5,46 words on Wednesday and Thursday).
This seems doable. I’ve managed to put out around 2,000 words an hour, and I’m fussy. NaNo demands I throw fussiness to the wind. On the other hand, my work schedule is only kind of cooperating with the schedule I’ve mapped up, so there’s going to be some hasty improvisation right out of the gate.
If I can win NaNo, along with a general mild boost in health, spiritual, emotional, and physical, and without slamming into crunch mode, it will serve as a great proof-of-concept project for how I hope to accomplish games when Fearless Leader, Sergeant Sausage, and I look at rebooting my ill-advised (hopefully much less ill-advised this time ’round) media company.
Now, it is my fond hope that my entry in NaNo will prove amazing and that it will sell enough to get me a zillion dollars and a pony. Don’t we all.
But my prayer and mission is to tell stories through games, and to do so in a way that doesn’t short-change my God and my family — a tall order under normal circumstances, taller still with the next Great Depression on the doorstep and my accompanying resolution not to quit my day job.
Even if NaNo gets me a zillion dollars and a pony (actually, hold the pony; I don’t want one), I would pursue this goal. NaNo offers me a chance to try my hand at one of my other beloved projects and test a philosophy of work that, if effective, I can then apply to my dream.
Edit: Also going to take this opportunity to take the Scrivener on a spin.