Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Yes, It's Time

Check your calendars, everybody.  It's October 6.  But I guess some people are far more prepared than I, because there are already 15,000+ people signed up for NaNoWriMo 2009. National Novel Writing Month is when everybody goes into a mad scramble to try and write 50,000 words in thirty days (if you are successful, you "win").  So I had this post planned out explaining why I was not going to participate this year (I have never participated before; only found out about it last year).  

Firstly, NaNoWriMo is kind of populated with people who don't know what they're doing (in terms of getting published, not necessarily writing well).  As in, I know I can't query now until at least February, because I don't want to be in the flood of people who do it right after NaNo thinking that quantity = quality.  There is a definite uptick in querying in December and January solely because of this November phenomenon.  Secondly, I physically cannot write 1,600 words a day, which is the average you need to achieve (roughly) to reach that magic number of 50,000.  I can't.  I have never written that much for more than two days at a time. Thirdly, I'm in college.  Is this explanation enough?  There are not enough hours in the day. Also, who wants to write during Thanksgiving?  That's when I'm going to be writing my semester thesis, anyway.

But all of this rational thinking clearly went out of my brain, because I am going to sign up anyway.  Because believe it or not, it is actually on my list of things to do before I die: participate in NaNoWriMo.  I'm going to make it a goal to win too--before I die, I mean.  Not this year.  HA.  I'm hoping for between 25,000 and 30,000 words, and that's a lofty goal. Maybe I should make it part of my schedule to wake up an hour before class to get writing in then?  Time will tell.  You would be surprised how quickly your priorities change when your alarm clock goes off in the morning (brushing your teeth and putting on real clothes suddenly seem like unnecessary fussing)--but I'm sure all of you know this from personal experience. Morning is not a good bet for anything.

Anyway, I think NaNo is a good thing for people who are aware of the intensive rewriting/editing process to follow once you've obtained your 50,000 words.  I would never show a rough draft of an original work to a single soul.  Ever.  Because I would probably cry in shame.  And so would the reader.

So here is my post that was meant to be a post about how I was not participating.  I give up. You win, November.  You win.


  1. Good luck! I intentionally started my new WIP early so I could avoid ending up in the mass of queries flooding all the agents inboxes come December and January. Not sure if I'll make it but hey, I'm trying!

    Keep us posted!

  2. Haha, oh man I salute you. I couldn't do it but you're so crazy for tying it that I might have to as well haha. But good luck and please, please, please! don't die!!

  3. The first year I tried Nano was in college too because my friend hounded me into it, and in a moment of stress/sleep-deprivation induced insanity, I said yes. Even though I knew that November was going to be particularly bad - friends' 21st b-days, rivalry football games, Thanksgiving, midterms, and papers all spread throughout the month in a conspiracy to kill me.

    I survived, but only after sacrificing my wordcount (which was pretty pathetic). But it's pretty fun times.

    I tried it again in earnest last year (since I was no longer in school and enjoying my year off) and was surprised by how far I got (I'm not a word-crunching monster either). You learn a lot in a relatively short amount of time, and it's kind of a relief to not worry about sucking since quantity is everything.

    So good luck!!! I'll be in on the madness too. At least, I think so. :P

  4. Just not happening this year for me, but I applaud everyone else who is participating. Just don't stress out too much over it. Everybody who participates "wins" NaNo, IMO. It's a fun experience and you learn a lot about yourself in the process.

  5. Yay! For me, all the reasons why I shouldn't do it fly out the window when I consider how insanely fun NaNo can be. I think you're right about the number of people who don't know what they're doing, but there's also a fair number of people just looking for motivation, as well as a fair number who realize that what they're writing will be crap, but do it purely for the enjoyment factor. Because really, writing is supposed to be fun, is it not? I may be biased, though, because this will be my fifth year, and NaNo's become such an inextricable part of my life by now... =]

  6. Awesome!!!!!!! I'm excited for you! NaNo is INTENSE! But you should at least tell yourself to try for 50k! That's the whole point. I did it, and I have a kid that hangs on me all the time, and a whole bunch of other things on my plate. I just didn't sleep much in November. If I can do it, you can do it!

    I'm not participating this year, but I will next year. I think it will be an every other year thing for me.

    Oh, and if you can find someone to be your cheerleader for the month, DO IT! That's the only way I made it through. I had two readers who read my chapters as I went. They made NO comments anything unless it was positive. They just kept me going so I could finish the book. It was a huge help. :D