We’ve all heard of NaNoWriMo, but have you heard of DecWriMo? No? I hope not because I checked Instagram and it doesn’t exist yet (surprising, I know).
I’m going to brag for a hot second before I explain what the heck I’m talking about and tell y’all that last year, I absolutely crushed NaNo. I finished not one, but TWO books. You read that right. Two whole manuscripts.
“Wait, wait, wait!” You’re probably saying. “How did you write two whole books in 30 days?”
Honestly, I did it with a lot of support from my husband and a lot of TERRIBLE. WRITING. So bad. Like… so, so bad.
You see, I was only focused on hitting my word count goals. I wasn’t focused on developing the stories I was working on, which is why for the next 8+ months, I revised the heck out of the first book and began querying it and now I’m revising book number two. And the biggest thing I learned from last year’s NaNo?
Don’t push yourself too hard.
Honestly, I’m upset with my last-November self. Writing is a continual-growth process and I’m not upset that I didn’t write good words (hello, every first draft ever); I’m upset that I didn’t take the time to care for the stories I started to write. I’m upset that I focused more on quantity than quality of writing and while that may work for some people, I just don’t think it works for me. Through Twitter and Instagram, I’ve seen that it kind of doesn’t work for a lot of others too. That’s why I came up with DecNoWriMo.
So, what is DecWriMo?
I’m glad you asked! DecWriMo is an idea to let go of word counts and chapter goals and pressure and instead, focus on an accountability to myself to take time for my stories. It stands for December Writing Month, but really, this could be a year-round thing. An every month thing. A whenever/wherever thing. Because DecWriMo isn’t a season, it’s a state of mind. It’s training your brain to think more about stories as a whole, not about getting to the last page. My husband actually planted this idea in my head by giving me some of the best writing advice I’ve ever received:
“Things need time to become great.”the best husband in the entire world during a NaNo2018 breakdown
Why was I rushing stories out of my brain and onto a Word doc if they weren’t ripe enough to be told? If I wasn’t ready to write them?
~the world will never know~
This December, I’m trying to think about my stories every day. A few months ago, I’d hoped that I’d be ready to query 2018 NaNo’s book two (The Last McNary, if you’re interested) by January 2020, but that’s not going to happen. It’s gone through five drafts and only now am I happy with the way the story is progressing. So instead of rushing through November and December to try to get it done, I’m taking my time. I’m listening to music. I’m letting my brain ponder all the paths the story can take; all the motivations and tragic pasts of the characters; all the twists, turns, and surprise endings I can come up with and writing them down.
No word count goal. No rushing.
As I tend to get lazy after the first few days of being accountable only to myself, I’ll be posting each day for the month of December (give or take a few around Christmas time and obviously, as it’s December 2, not every day) about what I focused on that day for my story. I might have written, I might have found some cool pictures on Pinterest that inspired me, I might have found a new song I added to a character playlist, or maybe I was in the grocery store and heard something that sparked my creativity.
Who knows, y’all, but that’s the beauty of it!
If you’re interested in participating in DecWriMo with me, let me know! Tweet at me, tag me on Insta, or leave a comment below on what you want to think about this December. I’d love to hear what you’re focusing on and if there’s any way I could help!