How can you resist an endeavor that brands itself as "thirty days and nights of literary abandon"? Such is the madness of National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as Nanowrimo.
Already I see blog posts popping up that give you in-depth breakdowns on how to prepare for the month, tips on how to smash through that tough third week, the dangers of pantsing it all (usually offered by die-hard outliners), the dangers of outlining (usually giving by die-hard pantsers), and so on.
I haven't done Nano in a few years, usually because I was either already writing a novel or trying to edit it. I felt that I was "past" doing such a thing as Nano, as I already knew I had the capacity to complete a novel without the prompting of the Internet.
And yet, I think I need it this year. Not because I need to prove to myself that I can write a novel but because I need to blow out some creative cobwebs. A hectic summer gave way to an exhausting fight with mononucleosis this fall. I've barely had enough energy to wash a dish some days, let alone write.
The novel I've been working on has remained untouched, waiting for me to get back to it. Yet the allure of a 30 day writing exercise to limber up the rusted machinery of my writing side appeals to me.
Would it be a waste of time? Would I be better served getting back to my current project? Anyone else doing Nano? What do you think?
Monday, October 25, 2010
To NaNo or Not to NaNo -- That Is the Question
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First, I hope you're feeling better! Second, I do NaNo because I'm really bad at writing without a deadline (self-imposed don't really count). I need that extra push, which also kicks my competitive streak into gear. So though I was going to sit out this year, a story popped into my head and I think I might actually be able to keep the story within the 50k word count (unlike my others which are about 90k).ReplyDelete
I don't see it as a waste of time. If this new story hadn't come to me, I'd be working on another wip, trying to churn out something to edit by the end of the month. Even if it doesn't fit the "rules" of starting something new.
I'm in the same boat as you! I've skipped NaNo the past couple of years in lieu of my current mystery, but its pull this fall is irresistible. I need an outlet for this pent up energy, and I think the crazy month may be just what I need to nail down my voice. Let us know what you decide to do!ReplyDelete
Thank you and great thoughts! A part of me wonders if I should turn it into an editing exercise for my wip just because I am bad at finishing something without an external deadline. It wouldn't be within the rules, but it would be within the spirit of the whole thing. :) Happy writing!ReplyDelete
I really want to but I'm not sure either. I'm still in school and with the kids and everything the only time I'll have to write is if I don't sleep! Lol. And I need my sleep. But I still really really want to try. That's a great idea to use it as an editing exercise. Good luck whatever you decide! :)ReplyDelete
Ashley- Thank you! You know, I've never understood why they decided to do it in November with all the hectic lead up to the holidays! Every weekend that month is booked for me with either in-town guests or me traveling. All my writing time has to happen during the week, either before work or on my lunch. Perhaps it is to prove that in the busiest of times it can still happen?ReplyDelete
Hi Lisa - I have felt equally torn. I have decided that I need to focus on my revision job - we could enter as Rebel nano-ers and do that - the word count thing is then no good. I wrote a good chunk of a novel last year in it but it took so much revising as I am a pantser (I never know why folks argue the merits of each - for me it is like saying I'm a woman with two legs - it isn't a choice thing!!!) So, I think what I'm going to do is revise - not the one from last year - it isn't in the cure yet! A more serious literary type novel that I've been not working on for the past two months after a REALLY good run at it. Yep, I think you helped me decide. I will revise and in order to make it fit the month - I'll figure out that I have to revise for ten hours a week and figure out where that gets me. Thanks for letting me sproool all over figuring this out! ha!ReplyDelete
That's no problem! Sprool all you need to! ;) I think you've helped me figure it out as well. As a pantser, revisions are a major sticking point for me where my momentum slows down quite a bit. I've decided that if I can sum up the energy for NaNo, then I need to devote that dedication to revising and polishing my WIP. So yes, I will join you in being a Rebel Nano-er! Your comment is exactly what I've been thinking. Thank you!
Nothing that makes you write is a waste of time. How wonderful to feel inspired and spurred on by an international madness such as Nano. Go for it, I say to anyone who thinks it sounds fun.ReplyDelete
Great point. No writing is a waste of time. It's more of figuring out what part of my writing should be allotted to that time, if that makes sense.
Hi again Lisa, well thank you back because it decided me too! (only I meant my last years nano book wasn't in the cue yet - not the cure!!! weird. And what does sprool mean? And I haven't even started yet!!) So check out my yesterday's blog for my decision. I decided one hour of revision was worth 1 thousand words so I will do 50 hours of revision. yeehaw! I'm happy to be rebelling with you...ReplyDelete