Tag Archives: nanowrimo

Fuck Nano.

Yeah, I said it.

Remember a few weeks ago when I was all like “oh, I’m going to try Nano this year because I still wanna write a book this year and clock’s ticking” and all that? That lasted until exactly until 11/2, when I hadn’t written on 11/1 and I was officially 3400 words behind and I felt panicky and shit because yikes.

Every year this comes up around the end of October. Folks want to do Nano–amateurs and pros alike–and every year I think “maybe” but ultimately I never do it. It’s not that I’m diametrically opposed to Nano. I’m not. I’m envious of the folks who can pull it off. I’m not afraid of falling short of the goal of 50K words. I have no doubt that if I had an actual deadline breathing down my neck–one with paying, professional people on the other side of it–I could put down 50K in a month. I would be mentally and emotionally exhausted and impossible to live with, but I’m completely capable of this feat. It’s not that I’m not disciplined. One does not write nine novels without discipline. So what is it? Why do I skip it every year? Like I said, I’ve thought a lot about it over the years, and I have a few reasons:

I don’t like arbitrary pressure. Or maybe it’s better to say I don’t like arbitrary peer pressure. I’ve given myself plenty of arbitrary deadlines (write x story by x date, finish x draft by August, etc.) and I’m fairly consistent about meeting them. I don’t like the idea that other people are holding me up to a measuring stick that ultimately doesn’t mean anything. Sure, you wrote 50K words in November. But did you tell a story?

I respect my process. I like to mull over my work. Revel in it, even. Write a few thousand words. Think about the implications of them for a day or two. Write some more. Get stuck and think about why. I’m not saying folks who do Nano don’t respect their process. I’m saying that for my novel-length work, I’m not a fast writer. It’s not a natural length for me, so it takes a bit more time to get it out. I love the creation process and the act of writing enough to want to enjoy it. (Yes, even though I bitch about first-drafting.)

Doing Nano doesn’t make me feel like a real writer. Know why? Because I am a real writer. I write most other days of the year. I work on projects and I sell them and I gather rejections for stories and I keep my fingers on the pulse of the industry.

This post came of as a little Nano-bashy, and I swear that wasn’t my intent. There are many valid reasons for writers of all ilk–amateur, pro, hobbyists–to do Nano. Creating something from nothing is incredibly rewarding and I won’t begrudge anyone the privilege and pleasure of doing it. I applaud the folks who can do it.  Nanowrimo is just not for me.

 

 

 

 

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NaNo No

I have survived another Halloween. This year was spent trailing after a Vulcan and a dinosaur, so geek parent is pleased, even with the rain. However, waking up this morning, post sugar crash, I am confronted with the fact that it is now November.

Which means NaNoWriMo.

I am not a personal fan of National Novel Writing Month. Note, I said personal. I think that generally it’s a great idea. A lot of people find it a useful way to achieve butt-in-chair, and that’s great. It just doesn’t work well for me. Which shouldn’t be an issue, right? It’s not something that anyone has to do. But the fact that it exists, that there is so much chatter about it, exerts this sort of subliminal pressure.

WritewritewriteIt’sNovemberwritewritewrite.

Thing is, that write-write-write chant drifts through my head pretty much all year. That’s fine– it’s how the writing gets done, instead of the random internet surfing and lying face down on the floor. I’m just not a fan of having its volume tweaked up. It tends to make me a bit twitchy.

That’s okay  though. I’ll get over it. In December.

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Nanowrimo

Anyone who has any sort of aspirations of being a writer knows about National Novel Writing Month (aka Nanowrimo or Nano). Folks commit to writing 50,000 words during the month of November. Lots of my writing peeps do it. I never have because I tend to be a slow writer.

That’s about to change.

One of my goals is to write a book a year. With the Big Move of ’13 and Long-Ass Writing Assignments and running the Origins Library, I haven’t written one this year. You may recall I started one, got 24K in, and scrapped it. So as not to fall short of my goal, I’m going to to Nano. Which means I need an outline of some sort and a slightly-better-than-vague plan of where in the hell I’m going. First-drafting tends to take a lot of out me emotionally and mentally; we’ll see how I fare.

Wish me luck, guys.

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