Saturday, November 2, 2013

A NaNo No-No?

Is the NaNoWriMo goal possible for everyone?

I let some friends persuade me into NaNoWriMo this year. They didn't have to work very hard. It's not something I've ever tried before. As I've said on twitter that's because I write like a turtle runs. But I needed a sharp does of motivation.

Confession: I haven't written anything other than a short story since August. And even then, I worked on an old project all summer, rewriting chapters, instead of drafting new material.

I'm hoping NaNoWriMo is the push I need to bring to light the new story that's been in my brain for months. Nothing but laziness has keep me from getting back to writing. 

So why I don't plan to produce anywhere close to 50K words, I hope to get back on track to completing my usual chapter a week. 

Winning NaNoWriMo is not my goal, but that doesn't mean I won't be a winner all the same.

And I'll be cheering on the rest of you! I admire those who can shut off their inner editor and let fly! Please add me as a buddy no matter your goals. Find me under the name Michelle4Laughs.

Your turn. What are your goals for NaNoWriMo or do you avoid it altogether? 


  1. I tried last year but gave up after a few days because I saw no point in writing 50,000 words if all that counts is quantity. And with a full time teaching job, I'm just too busy in November, so I found the whole experience frustrating and demotivating.
    This year my writing friend and I have agreed to try to write an average of 750 words a day, and if that turns out to be too much, we'll go down to 500 a day.
    Good luck with your chapter a week!

    1. Now that's my speed! I'll be right there with you in spirit.

  2. This is my first NANO year. I have no specific goals other than to have fun, and explore some new characters. Like Andrea, however, I'm about quality, not quantity, so I'll likely write like I always do, re-reading and editing as I go along. 50K? Maybe. Have a great time? Yes!

    1. Hi NaNo buddy!

      Edit as you go? YES! I find that I have a tendency to add more words than I subtract. It's sort of like layering. First I get the bare outline, then I go back and add details that occur to me later.

    2. Exactly! I do the same thing. I'm a dialogue writer first; I fly through conversation, then go back and add setting, visual, etc. Besides, re-reading keeps me in the voice of the MC, which I've had problems with in the past.

  3. I'm really stuck with Nano this year. This is my second year. Last year I wrote the first novel of a trilogy, but now I'm really busy with school (I'm 16 years old). I don't know if I should just write less, and write the 1,5 novel instead of the sequel. Or if I should write the sequel, but take more time than november? Ugh, I'm stuck :/ In the 1,5, I want to show a different aspect to the story, with a different main character, so I feel like that is important. But I could also include it in the sequel... ugh D:

  4. I felt much the same way. Finish the rewrite I was working on? Start a sequel to my MG hamster story? Start something new?

    I ended up following my head. Better to have something new ready to go, then continue with a project that might not go anywhere.

    But I'd suggest you follow your heart. :-) You'll write more if you're happy.

  5. Thank you! I think I'm going for the sequel, but take more time than just november, so I don't have to rush! :)

  6. My first NaNo, I signed up, filled out the short synopsis of my novel, then promptly wrote two shortstories and two science papers.


    The next two NaNos I did, I was already well into my WIP, but I added 50K to both during the month. Turns out that I have to rewrite my novels from scratch regardless of how slow or how much editing I do in the first drafts, so NaNo is perfect for me. I've come to think of first drafts as really detailed outlines... It's a sickness, really.

    1. I prefer to be one draft and done. To each their own is the vest of life!

  7. Last year was my first year doing nano, and I not only won but had a blast. This year I'm already past 5K, though that's partially because I happened to have the first two days off work so I had plenty of time. (And I'm sort of cheating -- I'm expanding a short story I wrote several years ago.) Nano is great for me because the hardest part of my writing is just getting the first full draft down. Plus my local writing group has a lot of activities (write-ins, parties, etc.) and the community of people working toward a common goal helps a lot as well.

  8. WE ARE SO ALIKE! I haven't been writing for such a long time either, and my goal isn't 50k as well!!!! *fistbump*

  9. I know NaNo is a big deal, both in the USA and here in Australia but I must confess, I can't work-to-rule on anything artistic.

    When I'm in the right frame of mind, I can pump out 5 or even 10K + in a day (my best was 50 K in 4 days but that was a one off and resulted in no sleep nor anything else)

    I think I'm influenced too much by what my dad used to say to us as children, "When you are forced to do something, even something you enjoy, even something you love, you will come to resent it a times."

    As I have no intention of resenting my art (painting or writing), therefore, I do it when (and if) I please.

    Besides, I have never been able to 'switch it on' as it were. I recall, one particular double English period back in high school, I must have been 14 or 15, our teacher set us an assignment to 'write whatever you want, make it fiction and have it finished before the end of the double period."

    I recall staring at the blank page for a good 20 minutes. With each additional minute I became more and more frustrated. I was frustrated at myself as I watched everyone else busy putting their stories together and I was also frustrated at a school curriculum that thought creativity could be called on as though it was some sort of mathematical equation.

    After another 10 minutes of nothingness, I took out my deck of cards (I always had a deck of cards, don't ask me where that came from) and started playing solitaire. It didn't take long for my fellow students to notice, smirk and chuckle.

    Now I should point out, for the most part I was a 'perfect A student' and this school wasn't some new-age school. I also knew what I was doing wasn't acceptable but the truth is, I couldn't think of anything to write about.

    Shortly after the smirks and chuckles, my teacher came up to me and asked what I was doing. I calmly explained I wasn't in the right mood to write & figured I would have to stay in class so I was trying to keep myself occupied. (I guess I could have pulled out a book to read but for whatever reason, this didn't occur to me).

    My teacher looked at me, looked around at the class and then back to me and said "OK, I know you, I will let you do whatever you please but I want a short story from you as some point."

    That was the end of it. None of my fellow students were annoyed at me because they also knew me and everyone just figured I was having one of my moods.

    As I say I know NaNo is very popular and I also know many people get a lot from it, more power to them I say. For me, setting word targets and such just does not work & I am certain I'm not the only one.

    1. I agree. That's one of the reasons I stayed out of NaNoWriMo. Forcing words to meet some arbitrary number can be a bad idea for some.

      But five months of writing nothing forced me to conclude I need a push. And it's worked for me. Three days and two chapters. Better than that though, they are two chapters that if feel enthusiastic about! I wake up eager to write again!

  10. It's my first year on NaNo but I'm a power writer, so the goal isn't the biggie. It's shutting up the Inner Editor, which can trip me at the finish lines.

    I finished OctoWriMo, and don't see a problem finishing the 50k for NaNo. To be honest, most of my books are written in two weeks. I have a rough draft of 76k I wrote in a weekend.

    But the real reason I decided to do NaNo this year is to see if I could. To learn to NOT edit as I write. And let's face it, the author camaraderie. I don't have issues with deadlines, I have issues with my insecurities, and I'm hoping to learn to shut them up long enough to finish. And after MONTHS of nothing, absolutely nothing, the deadlines seem to have opened up the floodgates.

    And word sprints. I blame the word sprints LOL

    But my point really is that by joining, it might help you get going on a new project, to finally tap into your creativity. Who cares if you don't do 50k? What if you are able to get out 10k, and it gets those juices flowing? What if NaNo, and the hundreds of thousands of authors all in one place, help you remember why you started writing in the first place?

    Then I say you WON NaNoWriMo. Not by the word count, but by the fact you are writing again, enjoying the process. And I have a teenager asking what your next project is, along with a school librarian, principals at two schools, and seventeen teenagers who fell for your writing. See? You've already won - if you start writing :)

  11. You amaze me, TJ. Thanks for the support. And 76K! Whoa!

    1. Yeah, I won't do that again anytime soon. I had mushy brain for almost three weeks after that LOL! But really MIchelle, you've already won. Don't second guess yourself, and for certain, don't compare yourself. You are a darn good writer, with a fan base here in Cheyenne, a 14 yo fan who squees when she hears I talked to you. Just write. If being in NaNo lights that fire ... it did what it really set out to do - get authors writing.

      I wish that was the main focus, with the goal of 50k second, but as writers, we are a kind of competitive lot *G*

  12. I was do determined, prepared, and exited to participate in Nano, but then I thought that first I should think about getting my first book published. Also, my family desperately needs me to earn something now. My dad has this lung disease for which he is taking chemotherapy. Every time he coughs, a chilling guilt runs through my body. Hence I'm polishing my engineering skills this month and concentrating on getting a job along with querying.

    The day I get my first writing advance, I would resign from the job (that I don't have yet. lol).

    T.J., 76k words in a weekend!? What do you eat? Give us some, seriously. Wow! I remember when my family taunted me one day and I spun out 8000 words that day. That was the fastest I ever got. That also means that I can have a personal Nanowrimo of mine whenever I want to. So I'm fine with skipping Nano.

    1. excited*
      damn typos. :) making me reply to my own comment. lol
      two down hundred more to go