Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Way We Are: NaNoWriMo

[*Don't know what NaNoWriMo is? Scroll to the bottom.]

I have a confession. I have never participated in NaNoWriMo, even though every year it calls my name. It says, Come on! You know you've always wanted to write that fast. What better excuse do you need to ignore everything and just do it?

But then every year, the timing is just wrong. Like last year. I had just finished drafting Through the Bomb's Breath and I knew that if I let myself get distracted by the shiny new idea, I wouldn't dive into TTBB edits with the ferocity I wanted. This year, it looks like I will once again be knee deep in revisions during November.

How about you? Is NaNoWriMo calling your name so loudly that you're going grab your computer and ideas and head on over to Camp NaNoWriMo? Or does it only whisper your name? Have you ever done it before? Did you come out of it 50,000 words into your novel? Share your NaNo stories! I want to either live vicariously through you, or hang out with you in the [slightly less-populated] Non-NaNoWriMo camp.

[*NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's when a huge bunch of people all throughout the world put their lives on hold during arguably the third busiest month of the year to write a 50,000 word novel. Pep talks, celebrations, honor, and awards abound.]

33 comments:

Cherie Reich said...

NaNoWriMo definitely calls to me. As soon as I'm finished one NaNo, then I'm finding ideas for the next one. This will be my third year participating. First novel turned out 68,000 words in one month. Second was just at 51,000. This year, I'm tentatively planning to write two novels (a YA Contemporary and a YA Futuristic Fantasy) from November 1-15 and 16-30. I already can't wait for November to come.

Francesca Zappia said...

I did NaNo for the first time last year and loved it--got a little over 60k in the month. Of course, I don't think I would've done nearly so well if I hadn't plotted out THE ENTIRE BOOK beforehand, lol.

I'm doing it again this year to revise and restructure a book I've been working on for a long time--hopefully I can make the plot a little more concise!

Krista said...

I confess - I first heard on NaNo a few months ago. I wpuld love to do it - but alas I do not have the time.

Jenny S. Morris said...

It only whispers to me. I've never done it, and this year I want to concentrate on revisions. I hear it's a blast though.

cherie said...

I'm doing it this year--first timer and scared to death. We'll see how it goes.

Btw, I have an award for you. It's not cookies, but blog bling. :D

Paul Tobin said...

Good luck, I find the whole concept daunting myself, but i am impressed by those who can do this.

Jillian said...

It's funny, because I keep almost NOT doing Nanowrimo but getting pulled in again. I've "won" both years I did Nanowrimo and the one time I did Script Frenzy, but each of those drafts was a hot mess by the end. My goal this year is to do more planning so that I come out of it with a more cohesive draft, while still enjoying all the fun Nano-insanity, of course :-D.

Patti said...

Every year the timing is wrong for me too. I might do it if I can get some other stuff done in the next two weeks.

prerna pickett said...

YES! I finally signed up the other day. It's exciting, yet daunting, but I'm determined to get my writing into gear.

Jessie Humphries said...

I dont believe in NaNoWriMo! Not a "dont believe" like the "I dont believe in the Tooth Fairy", but a "I dont believe this diet coke is really bad for me." Like a denial sort of thing. It sounds so consuming! I am already consumed!

Christine Rains said...

I've been doing NaNoWriMo every year since 2003. I can't resist it! It's such a creative rush. The community is fantastic too.

Carrie Butler said...

I'm the same way. (Go figure!) I refuse to derail this revision train. ;)

David Powers King said...

I have yet to do this. But then, am I limited to writing a 50K novel in just one month of the year? Why not in January, when there is literally nothing going on? A speed draft like that would certainly help winter move along. Cool. I know what I'm doing this January! :)

Stacy Henrie said...

I've never done it either - maybe one of these Novembers I will. Same reasons - have different writing things on my plate and can't leave 'em to start a new book. :)

Shilpa said...

I know about this fabulous contest, but the very idea of the speed terrifies me! And this year, I think I did more than enough writing! :D

i'm erin. said...

I love NanoWrimo! It makes me plow through a book. And for me that's good because I don't have time during the rest of the year.

Iain said...

It whispers to me. mosly it says: I bet you wish you had the time to dedicate to it.
One of these days...

Lan said...

I've been a bit of a procrastinator in the writing stakes for the last few months so NaNoWriMo is the perfect way for me to just just right in and throw all that hesitation to the wind. I haven't participated before but am trying to round up as many blog friends as I can find who are doing it to motivate me. Good luck with the revision!

Abby said...

I had no idea what NaNoWriMo was at first. It was aggravating. I would love to do, but I think I need to move it to December for me. I know there is no way possible I will be able to achieve it the last part of the semester. Once school is out tho - I'm going to kick my WIP's butt!

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I'm in the Non-NaNoWriMo camp. Every year I am tempted, and every year the timing is bad.

Best of luck with those revisions that are keeping you busy!

Bethany C. said...

So many friends are doing Nano--My WIP is ramping up now, I fear if I let my brain hamster switch gears I'll never get back on track. Have fun!

Angela Cothran said...

I'm in this year. I want to see if I can do it. We will see--I'm not a very structured writer--I need some structure :)

Red Boot Pearl said...

Nanowrimo totally calls to me, I am sooooo tempted every year, but when I write more than a thousand words a day--it's not a good thing--I end up cutting most of what I write when I force it. This is due to the fact that I have maybe an hour to write a day, so if I write more--it's a time crunch. I aim for 500--which means I don't have quite so much word vomit to wipe up. So yes, I'll participate, but with my own goals. :)

E.R. King said...

I can't say no to NaNoWriMo either. Like H1N1, I think it may be contagious!

Shell Flower said...

I did NaNoWriMo for the first time last year and "won". This year I am just not sure. A couple of my coworkers who did it with me last year are trying to convince me to do it again, but I've been working 9-10 hour days lately, even some Saturdays and the work just keeps coming. I'm not sure my boyfriend will stand for me writing for another two hours a day after being gone from 6:30am to 5pm or worse every day. My eyes will probably start bleeding, too :) I'll probably sign up and try, but my expectations are low. I love the community, though.

Angela Brown said...

NaNoWriMo has called to me for a few years, and like you, I've not been able to jump to it. There was always something. Well, this year, I've decided to shuck the taunting aside and take the bull by the horns. I'm just hoping the bull doesn't do anything back :-)

LindaK said...

November just isn't a good month for me and I couldn't manage 80K in 80 days for a challenge I took part in back in May - I got so stressed and exhausted! Life is too busy with job and family too. I'd love to be able to do it, but I know I'll jsut get stressed out. Gotta be slow and steady for me! Best of luck to everyone who's doing it, though - may end up joining you one year!

JeffO said...

Shameless plug, my own NaNo post from a month ago: http://doubtingwriter.blogspot.com/2011/09/nano-yes-or-nano-no.html

To summarize--I did it last year for the first time and found it was a great experience. The best thing for me is that it forced me to shut down the inner editor and just write, and I came out of NaNo and steamed right into something new and (hopefully) better. I'm not sure I will be able to do it again this year, though, due to time issues.

Lindi said...

Peggy, I have participated. I haven't ever written 50K though. But I have written a lot. I think it's a great encourager. I liked the emails that were sent. Very inspiring!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Cherie-- Wow! That's ambitious!! Sounds like not only does NaNoWriMo work for you in a huge way, but you have so much FUN. Best of luck this year with both of your projects!

Francesca-- That's a lot of words in a month! I totally think that plotting ahead, especially when you're trying to get a lot of words out in a short amount of time, is the way to go. Last year, I did my own version of NaNoWriMo, too, that should've been called NaNoReviMo.

Krista-- And it definitely takes a huge time commitment!

Jenny-- You sound exactly like me! Except sometimes everyone talks about HOW MUCH of a blast it is, and it yells to me for a few minutes.

Cherie-- Best of luck this year! You're going to nail it. And thanks for the award! I'm crazy flattered.

Paul-- Right there with you. Daunting. Impressed.

Jillian-- I love how you keep almost not doing something that you are obviously very good at! Teehee-- Nano-insanity. LOVE it.

Patti-- I think it's a terrible month for it! Way too much to do. Doesn't January sound like a much more reasonable month to do it? Best of luck getting everything done so you can!

Prerna-- Yay! Best of luck to you! Determination will pull you through every time.

Jessie-- Bahaha! Yes, consuming. Wait... Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Christine-- Wow! That's impressive! See? It's people like you that make me want to find a way to join in the fun.

Carrie-- Go figure. :) Let's have our own party! We'll call it NaNoReviMo, and we can send encouraging emails to one another and track our progress. It'll be every bit as exhilarating as NaNoWriMo!

David-- I totally agree! January is a much better month to do something crazy like this! Okay, I just decided. January is going to be NaNoWriMo for me, too. Except then it can't be called NaNoWriMo, since it's not a national thing.... FewNoWriMo?

Stacy-- Maybe it takes a year-long planning? Idk. Some people have it all figured out where there aren't other things on their plate in November. I might have to figure it out, too, if I ever want to participate.

Shilpa-- I know what you mean. And congrats on getting so much writing done this year! Who needs NaNoWriMo? Not you! You've got it all figured out on your own. Have fun with a less-stressed November!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Wow! For the first time EVER, my comment was so long that blogger wouldn't allow it! I had to split it into two. I had no idea there was a limit. Maybe I shouldn't be quite so long winded...


Erin-- That's true- November is probably a lot less busy for you. And it has always amazed me how much writing you can accomplish in a month's time when photography isn't pulling you another direction so hard.

Iain-- Hahahaha! Yeah, I totally get that.

Lan-- Nice! Have a blast throwing all that hesitation to the wind!

Abby-- Writing while going to school is SO hard! I'm not sure writing in December is any easier, though. I'm impressed your plans are to kick your WIP's butt during such a busy time. Best of luck girl!

Cynthia-- That sounds like me. And thanks! I haven't started on them yet (just waiting for my editorial letter, which should be here just in time for November), but I will soon. Thanks for the well wishes!

Bethany-- Wait. Do you have to start at the beginning of a novel for NaNoWriMo for it to count? Can you not just do 50,000 words in your current WIP? I totally understand about not wanting to switch gears, though. It doesn't work out so well for me, either.

Angela-- Yay! Congrats! You'll be able to do it. Have fun!

RBPearl-- I love that! I think that if you know that a method won't work for you, you do what does work. I love that you're doing it with your own rules!

E.R.-- Hahahahahaha! That's hilarious! Yep, I fell the contagion, too. I'm just going to will myself to not get it.

Shell-- Congrats on winning last year! And that's a crazy amount of hours worked. I don't blame you for not wanting your entire month to be nothing but working. They should have a NaNoWriMo lite! Then the rest of us could join!

Angela-- Yay! Best of luck! I'm sure that bull won't do anything...

LindaK-- Slow and steady is the way I work, too. There are just so many other responsibilities! Just like you, though, I always think that someday, SOMEDAY, I'm totally going to join in.

JeffO-- I totally agree that being forced to shut off your inner editor can be a really great thing. I'm going to go check out your post now.

Lindi-- I do think it's a great encourager, too, even if you don't get the 50,000. It's kind of cool to know that so many people are writing so many words at the same time!

J.L. Campbell said...

I love NaNo, but had to back out last year after 12,000 words. Too much happening at that time. Maybe I'll use the time this year to finish the novel I started last year.

Peggy Eddleman said...

J.L.-- Sounds like a great plan. Best of luck!