Monday, November 01, 2010

NaNoWriMo: Are You Doing It?

Two questions: Are you participating in National November Writing Month? And what happens on December 1st?
I'm doing it - or will try. This is my second attempt at completing the 50K in one month. The point of NaNoWriMo is quantity, not necessarily quality. The purpose (as I'm sure most of you know) is to get something down on paper/in the computer in one month's time. NaNoWriMo is the antithesis to procrastination.

Last year was tough - I only got to 15K or so. My excuses were real - death in the family, new job starting - all things that distract from anyone's writing. That said, I've done nothing else with that 15K. It IS the start of a novel. I WILL do something with it eventually. So what happens at the end of the month? Has anyone completed a full publishable manuscript? The fact that The Great Gatsby was written in a similar amount of time should motivate us all.

This year, I'm working on the sequel. Being marginally employed, I have a lot more time to write. I'll start MFA classes in January, so I'm also telling myself that I'd better get used to this writing schedule. Self-bribery. Motivation. Whatever.

Several of my friends are also participating, so we compete with each other on Facebook and Twitter (I wrote 5K today! Ha! I wrote 6K!) I usually opt out of the NaNoWriMo pep talk emails and local writing groups, but for a lot of folks, the extra encouragement helps.

I'm also looking forward to hearing about Tom Kealey's class and how NaNoWriMo worked this year for his students! Have a great November and keep writing!


FZA said...

I've never done NaNoWriMo before. Always thought about it, but never actually done it. My writing has been slow lately and so I was determined to do it this year to jump start something. Even though poetry is my preferred form, I was still looking forward to it.
But...enter applications. No way I can do both this AND finish my applications. Since a large chunk of mine are due Dec. 15th, including one December 1st, NaNoWriMo seemed like a bad idea. In particular, I was afraid I'd use it as an excuse to avoid my applications.

But, I've decided to do a self-imposed NaNoWriMo in February. I figure, by then not only will I be done with applications, but I'll be chewing my hair out in the waiting game. My hope is that every time I'd like to stress, check my phone signal, refresh my email, sit outside and wait for the mail person, I'll write instead. And since it's a short month, I'll settle for 40,000-45,000 words or hell, anything that has a beginning, middle, and end and takes up my anxiety time during the month.

I'm trying to convince others who either also have applications or other November obligations to join me for a FebNoWriMo for peer pressure's sake.

Anyone in?

Sheila Lamb said...

Hmmm... February could be a challenge (but probably a good one!) I will have started classes then and will have to write!

Staci R. Schoenfeld said...

I did it (successfully) in 2002. I thought that it was a great exercise, but I haven't done anything with what I wrote back then. What I took away from it was that I can write, a lot, even when I don't think that it is possible. I think that it is well worth doing. And I did 56K in 25 days (since I was flying home for Thanksgiving) while working one full-time and one 25 hour a week part-time job, so you don't even have to shorten your expectations. Just up your word count accordingly. Good luck to anyone NaNo-ing! :)

Claire Dawn said...

This is my 3rd nano. I reached the 50K both times before. I'm good under pressure. Neither of my books have gone any further- will someone start an Nanoedmo?(editing)-but Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss, to be released next month, started as a nano novel.

Andrew P said...

I'm doing it. Most of the hard parts--statements, samples, LOR packets out--are done for my applications. I'm doing it as a way to stop obsessing about all the little details I've already spent months obsessing over.

And so I don't obsess in the months ahead, I'm going to Belize for the entire month of January!

I'm also primarily a poet, and for the past few weeks all my creative energy has been spent in my applications. So it's nice way to force myself back into the habit of writing.
9K and counting!

Trisha said...

Yes, I participated this year, and wrote 94k. I try to participate every year! I love it! :)