One of the things I was most looking forward to this year was National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, for short.
Why? Because it was something I've been interested in for years but couldn't do. For the last four years, I studied towards my English Major and Comparative Literature minor, which meant that every November (and March) was Death Month - i.e. the month where I would have five three-thousand-word academic essays due in the same week. Delightful.
Anyway, now that I'm working a regular nine to five that doesn't have homework, I've taken it up and I'm having so much fun doing it. First of all, because during this month I let my old novel (Reading the Willow King) rest for a while, while I try to pound out a new novel based on a new idea in a month.
I'm making fairly good progress - right now, I'm at 19 500 words, just shy of halfway towards the 50 000 word endpoint. A little behind, I guess, but if I work at it, I'll catch up. But it's so nice to be able to work on a new idea that I have a lot of enthusiasm for than slog through a novel I still kinda like but is getting stale.
Really, I'm hoping that this NaNoWriMo helps me to get into the habit of writing novels fast and consistently on a schedule. It's much easier to write the first draft of a novel while the idea is still fresh in one and a half months than to drag out a first draft over twelve (yes, twelve) months more because you feel an obligation towards it. Am I doing historical research? Nope - I just write whatever I possibly can whenever I possibly can, and by God it's actually forming a plot that could be revised into something GREAT later on.
That's not to say I'm going to abandon The Willow King completely - just, for a while. A month, maybe. At least until I'm finished the first draft of my first romance-fantasy effort, The Duke of Snow and Apples.