NaNoWriMo Woes

05 Nov

I don’t know why I thought I could do it. I couldn’t even manage to blog once a week for a year, and there I was signing up NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, write a 50,000 word novel during the duration of November, about 1,700 words daily). It just seemed like a good idea to just get it all out. Have that push, that makes you actually do something.

So I wrote a basic outline of chapters, and that’s it. Figured the rest would come. No character planning, development of conflict on a deeper level, or solid sequence of events. Just making it all up as I’d go along, I’m pretty good at winging things.

The first day went well, and I wrote over 1,800 words. The second day, I only remembered at 11:30 that my word count was looking a bit low for the day, and so I wrote about 550. Then I got stuck, because I realized, I hated the very distant and detached narrator I had chosen to voice my story. And I stopped.

Then, tonight I reread what I wrote, it’s not so bad. Maybe I should continue, but I have a lot to make up. Then again one thing I really enjoyed about the writing so far, was just doing it, no second guessing. On NaNoWriMo website, they stress that it’s not about writing the next Anna Karenina, it’s about stopping your inner critic, that says you just wrote a load of _____, and just finish it. The revision and editing come later. And I found reminding myself of that purpose really helped me move forward – in those two days of course.

What to do now? Say wait till next year. Try to catch up and inevitably fail because, well, I have a lot more to do than make sure I sit down every day and write 1,700 words. Or say “Tooyoungtoteach, it was a wonderful go, but this is not your thing.”

(On the site they recommend the participants to tell everyone they know that they plan on making a go for it, as a source of motivation not to embarrass yourself when people start asking how it’s going…I think I’m a bit too late for that though.)





Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Humor, Writing


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13 responses to “NaNoWriMo Woes

  1. Ermilia

    November 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Haha, don’t give up! Just as there is a huge difference between writing a novel and writing a short story, there is a huge difference between committing to a blog for a year and committing to a novel in a month. Totally different animals or fruits, whatever analogy you want to use. Even if you don’t make the word count and finish the novel, you need to go after it for more than 5 days! Plus, you’ll learn skills that you can use not only for next year, but life. Perseverance, for one. 🙂

    They’re right about telling people you’re going for it. My coauthor and I are telling people we’re publishing our first novel in the fall of 2012 for the same reason. Look for Blind Sight on Amazon then. 😛

    -Eliabeth Hawthorne

  2. unravelmythoughts

    November 6, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Hey! I did that last year! I’m not really in the mood this year, but I have to say, being able to tell people that you wrote a novel is enough motivation! and don’t worry about the daily word count; it all comes out in the end. I would do it like two or three times a week, up till two or three a.m. deff try to do it daily but don’t freak either way….good luck! I HOPE to be reading a good jewish book by you real soon!

  3. jen

    November 6, 2011 at 3:53 am

    i was wondering how you’re doing…
    gOOd luck! 😉

  4. Jim Franklin

    November 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    As unravel said above, don’t worry about the word-count it will all work out. Just keep writing, even if you don’t get the word-count for NaNo don’t stress about it, at the end of the day the NaNo part is pretty much just a web-badge. The important thing is that you do finish the novel.

  5. Princess Lea

    November 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I discovered a long while back (as in second grade) that I can’t do fiction. I usually ended up ripping off children’s books to write stories. In high school I stole TV plots.

  6. TooYoungToTeach

    November 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks for the motivation guys, but two days later, I still haven’t written another word, so many things keeping trumping it (like marking my students short story drafts – no getting my literary inspiration there)…but we’ll see. We’re still in the single digits of November…

    And PL: I had students who did TV plots, I didn’t let them get away with it. 🙂 Maybe you did a good job ripping it off, but the ones I read were always G-d awful and made no sense, because they’d try to simplify it, and end up leaving out the main connecting points…

  7. enermazing

    November 8, 2011 at 12:58 am

    What to do? Keep on walking 🙂 – It’s worth it!


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