Do you NaNoWriMo?

For years now, I have been fighting a battle of wills and words for the marathon known as NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month, for those of you that some how have escaped the many blog posts or articles about this sacred month.  In this month of November (why couldn’t it have been a month with 31 days, I could use one more day), many will struggle to write a first draft of a novel – 50,000 words.

I will not be one of them.  Instead of using the month of November to start a novel, I will use it as a push to finish my novel.  In all of my years of doing NaNoWriMo, I have never “completed” the challenge.  I’ve blamed this on a lot of things – my glacial writing pace, my need to think through scenes before writing them, getting through the dreaded in-between or set up scenes, and of course, second guessing whatever I put down on paper.  While all of those things can make writing difficult, most of the time I’m not able to get to 50,000 words because I let life get in the way or let the number get to my head.

But, I think that misses the whole point of NaNoWriMo – setting a whole month aside to write something every day and to make an effort to do something that many are not able to do – finish something.

I used to think that having a talent meant that you could be good at something without really trying.  While that might be true for the blessed few, most of us have to struggle through plot problems, characters that surprise you, the need to edit before you finish, and self-doubt.  But it’s the struggle that makes it all worthwhile and the reason that you can be proud of anything that you write this month – whether it be 50,000 words or far less.

Good luck, fellow writers – may your pens be swift and your plots strong.  🙂

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3 thoughts on “Do you NaNoWriMo?”

  1. Awww! How true the last words ring for most of us… *sighs* Self-doubt, especially, seems to be the worst of them – and the damn time, it’s just never enough! I found out about this whole thing through MOOC’s Storytelling course (always the oblivious one!), and it really hurts to not be able to participate… :/

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    1. I need to check out more MOOC stuff. I love taking classes, especially for writing. What sites do you use?

      If you’re interested, the people that run NaNoWriMo do a “Camp NaNoWriMo” in July – which helps the extra day issue and is sometimes easier, since it’s not the beginning of the holiday season. Also, they do script frenzy sometime in the Spring, which may be fun as well.

      As for self-doubt, for me the key has just been to keep pushing through. The beauty of the first draft is that you can always come back later and make it better. 🙂

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  2. By sites you mean…?
    As for MOOC, if you want to check the course out, the link is here:
    https://iversity.org/c/6?r=9cacc
    There have been only two chapters so far, so you haven’t missed much. They also focus in storytelling in general – be it a book, a movie, a TV series. And one of the advisors is Cornelia Funke!

    Oh, really? Thanks, I’ll be sure to check it out. I’m glad, this way I will have all the time in the world (so to speak) to do it.

    Good to know you actually find the first draft that needs to be improved NOT a bother. I actually find myself wondering “What on Earth was I thinking when I was writing this?!”

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