I accomplished the word count that I did this year (300,787 words) in part because of a good chunk of spare time. The primary source of this spare time was the lack of a job, so while I wasn’t writing, I was spending time looking for a job and complaining about employers’ poor spelling in job descriptions.
The last couple of days and the fact that I doubled my original goal have made me wonder what next year’s goal should be. 50,000 words in a month isn’t a challenge for me after nine years; I can write the daily 1667 words in less than half an hour if I sit down and focus. One person has suggested going for 400,000 words. This is theoretically possible even with a job that doesn’t exist yet, especially if I use the weekends to catch up, but the amount of time spent writing would consume me. Knowing me I would probably do it.
If I don’t have a job next November, then I’m definitely going for it. In fact, let’s do a little more. If I don’t have a job (part-time or full-time) by 1 November 2011, I am aiming for 500,000 words for NaNoWriMo 2011. That’s an average of 16,667 words per day. I exceeded that four times this November, and #50kweekend leaves me confident that I can come back from behind if I do fall behind.
There’s only one problem with this: my wrists. My wrists have stayed in great shape this November thanks to my learning how to adjust to all the typing my body adjusting to what I do to it every month. During my first year of frantic noveling my wrists cried out in pain even when I was far behind on the 50,000 word goal, partly thanks to my not knowing how to treat them. Now I know better, but even though I take good care of my wrists and the rest of my body, there’s still a chance that they’ll give out during my quest for 500,000.
There’s one way to save me from this quest: get me a job.
Dear employers (I know there are a few of you reading this), don’t you want to get in on this deadline-driven productivity? Imagine. Instead of me writing 500,000 words in a month, you hire me and I channel that passionate productivity into your workplace. My actual qualifications aside for a moment, let’s look at what my experiences with National Novel Writing Month would bring to the workplace.
* NaNoWriMo has taught me the power of a deadline. Give me a deadline, and wonderful things happen. Give me a seemingly unreasonable deadline, and even more powerful things happen. Writing a book in a month? Sure. Why not try multiple books or even a book in three days? I can get things done, and I can get them done quickly.
* I set goals and then exceed them. My original goal for the month was 150,000 words. That was shattered in two weeks, and my goal grew higher and higher until I threw sanity to the wind, #50kweekend turned into 66,000 word weekend, and I saw that 300,000 words were possible.
* I can promote things to the right people. The #50kweekend challenge to write 50,000 words over Black Friday and the next two days was the brainchild of two other Wrimos and me, but I started the #50kweekend Twitter hashtag and posted to the overachievers’ thread where many of the folks with the high word counts hang out. This is how the majority of the people who participated found out about the challenge.
* I love community, but not in the creepy “for the greater good” way. Part of writing with NaNoWriMo is writing with a community of other writers, and it’s why I keep coming back year after year. Where else can thousands of writers discuss issues of plot, character, and signs that NaNoWriMo has eaten their soul? It’s a community that I’ve proud to be part of and have given back to through the collaborative site Wikiwrimo that I founded.
Don’t you want to get in on this? I save my wrists from the wrath of 500k, and you get a productive employee who also happens to be writing a novel or two or three while juggling a job. We’d both win. If you’re convinced, why not hit that contact button? I could be your next ridiculously well-rounded employee.