Tag Archives: november

Why I quit nanowrimo 2013

Okay. So, I realize that technically there are still 4 more days in November; and that if you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it; and it’s not over until the fat lady sings, etc etc. But here’s the thing. I have some really good reasons for why I’ve decided to quit Nanowrimo this year.

1. Ultimately this is about fun. So when I’m having an adult temper tantrum because I “have” to write, then the purpose has been defeated. At least for me.

2. I guard my sleep jealously these days (since it’s still interrupted multiple times a night, and it’s always over by 7am at the latest). I’m not about to stay up until 2am writing, like I used to.

3. I thought I liked my story, until I got to a point that I was like, what the heck is this about. (Yes, I know that’s kind of the point of this whole thing.) But then I abandoned it midstream and switched to this YA novel idea. And it was downhill from there.

4. I also joined a dietbet this month, and I won that, so you know, you win some, you lose some.

5. When I started this, I was shooting for 25,000 words (the “real” goal is 50,000). I figured that 25,000 would still be impressive, especially with the other things I’ve had going on this month. And I made it to about 32,000 words. So I think that’s something to be proud of.

So…that’s that. Sorry, I hate when people just whine about how busy they are. But I’m not going to spend the next four days (and over Thanksgiving, even!) feeling guilty and stressed about this. There’s too much other stuff to pay attention to. Sorry, unfinished weird novel. I’ll read you over in a few months and see what’s salvageable. RIP.

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Filed under Endings, Fiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Not awesome, Self improvement, Writing

Is it already almost November AGAIN?

It’s October 11, which means we’re into the middle of October, which means it’s almost November, and November, as you know, is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Dangit. It just kind of snuck up on me this year. If I’m going to even attempt to do it again this year, now’s the time to think about it, so that we don’t get to November 1st and I just panic and start writing and then end up with 12 pages of third-person narration where the main character is obviously just a thinly-veiled version of myself.

I want to put some thought into it, and come up with a storyline ahead of time. Even though all of the Nanowrimo propaganda is about how fun it is when you hit a wall and you don’t know what’s going to happen next, and then your characters do something crazy that you weren’t expecting, I don’t work well like that. (See above, re: 12 pages, thinly-veiled version of myself.) I need to have a storyline to follow, and some idea of where things are going. The details that crop up on my way to the already-envisioned end can surprise me. And the ending can surprise me too, ultimately. But I have to at least think I know where it’s going.

I’ve been getting the year-round emails from the crew at the Office of Letters and Lights (they are in charge of Nanowrimo, as much as you can be in charge of a concept), and I haven’t unsubscribed from them, although I have to admit I haven’t opened and read them either. I guess I’m just walking a middle line, refusing to commit to either participating this year, or to making a decision to not participate. (I have 20 more days to decide before November 1st – technically I could still join in after that, but I’ve never been successful at starting late.)

I would love to make this work this year, especially since I’m not going to work and so you would think that I would have more time at home to write. We’ll see how this unfolds. If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave in the comments. In the meantime, a Google “I feel lucky” search for “plot generator” suggests this: “The story starts when your protagonist buys a new car. Another character is a gypsy who put a curse on your protagonist.” I don’t know…

Ooh, but refreshing the plot generator gives me this: “The story starts when your protagonist shoplifts. Another character is a thief who is the most attractive person your protagonist has ever met.” I kind of like that.

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Filed under Awesome, Beginnings, Books, Fiction, Games, Writing

Don’t think of it as quitting

On Sunday afternoon, I sat down to finally start my Nanowrimo 2011.

For those who don’t know, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month – it’s November of every year and you can find more info here. Basically, you write 50,000 words in the month of November, and it’s a great bonding experience (if you can find someone else who’s doing it), and fun, and you feel so accomplished at the end.

But this year has just been kind of crazy. We were busy every evening last week, and then I was in Lodi for Liz’s wedding Friday and Saturday. And in the past years that I’ve done it (2003, 2006, 2010), I’ve written during the day, while at work – well, last year I was working backstage, so I did a lot of writing in the dark with a flashlight during the show – and right now, work is really busy so I can’t fall back on that.

So Sunday was the first day that I could begin this year’s novel. I had an idea for it and everything. I was ready.

But then I started writing…got through 500 words…just 7500 more to go to catch up with my projected word count for Nov 6th…and I thought, There are so many other things I want to be doing right now. Books to read and time to spend with Drew and I have to bake a cake tonight. And this weekend is our 2-year anniversary, and I want to be able to relax and have fun and not be feeling guilty the whole time that I’m not writing.

So I decided: not this year. Which is weird, because I haven’t actually ever quit once I’ve started. I feel weird about it. And like I have to defend my decision. But whatever.

There are some other word-related activities I want to get done this month:

  • Blog more often (I still have a Sleep No More blog post to write…right?).
  • Submit to the paper again. 
  • Work on that musical that Jonathan and I keep saying we’re going to write.

And if I do all that, I guess I don’t have to feel guilty about quitting Nanowrimo. So…I should get on that.

I mean, right after this game of Super Scrabble.

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Filed under Drew, Nonfiction, Work, Writing