The Point of the Platform: Finding Time for NaNoWriMo

So NaNoWriMo is here again. Hooray!

Okay, confession time: I’ve never participated in National Novel Writing Month. I’ve written four novels, but I’ve never done one during NaNoWriMo.

Now seems like the perfect year for it. I’m planning to publish State of Grace later this month. I need to be writing its sequel RIGHT NOW, so I can get it up as quickly as possible in 2012. So perfect, right? I’ll work on the sequel during NaNoWriMo, participate in the big writing fest, and get cracking on building my career.

Yeah, there’s a slight problem with that. To publish State of Grace, I still need to build a lot of infrastructure. My website needs to be redone and relaunched (pretty much at the top of my to-do list). I also need to register with Goodreads, Independent Authors Network, and several other sites where I can promote the book. I need to launch a John Phythyon and Wolf Dasher fan page on Facebook. I need more followers on Twitter.

Then, of course, there’s the matter of getting the novel through the last round of editing and uploaded to Smashwords, Amazon, and B&N.

All of that takes time, and it’s all absolutely critical for State of Grace to have a chance at success. I need to build my platform, and the time I spend doing that is time I can’t spend writing. Cranking out 50,000 words in 30 days requires a serious commitment of time. I just don’t see being able to pull off getting the sequel done this month, especially since the first book runs almost 100,000 words — twice the NaNoWriMo goal.

And yet, this near-certain inability to get a book written during NaNoWriMo is freeing. It’s really only 1666 words a day (3200 if I’m going to hit the 100k mark). And 1500 words a day isn’t that hard. I can carve out some time to write for that long.

So I will partially commit to National Novel Writing Month. I will endeavor to write 1500 words a day. Afterall, I have to get this sequel written somehow. If I don’t make it by the 30th, well, I wasn’t expecting to get there anyway.

So bring it on, NaNoWriMo. I will find a little time for you amidst all this platform building.

Because, really, the point of the platform is to get my writing out there.

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