NaNo is in the air.

It’s also in my email, my Facebook newsfeed, and all over Twitter. Instagram—yup. Everywhere.

For those who don’t know, this is the gist of NaNoWriMo: For the month of November, thou shalt write every day until you reach the magic number of 50,000 words. It actually works out to 1667/day, which seems like a reachable goal, yes?

For most people, maybe. For me, not so much.

The first time I attempted NaNo I had no computer so I started off writing on yellow legal pads. I want to say this was somewhere around 2005 and I wanted to prove I was more than a flash fiction or short story writer, although there’s nothing wrong with being either. Or both.

I think I got up to about 25k and punked out. After a few months of useless editing, I burned those yellow legal pads lest someone actually SEE them and know I wrote that shit. Every error known to literature I committed in that ‘script. *shudder*

Editing cannot save every story and it certainly couldn’t save that one. And after failing so spectacularly, it was a couple of years before I tried again.

This time, I was armed with a Sony Vaio. Man, I loved that thing. It was a tank. I put out so many words on that machine it was insane. Hundreds of articles, thousands of words, whoa. I eventually wrote Athena’s Promise on it in about eight weeks. But it was like a cork was pounded into each and every finger when it came to typing out 1667 a day for the month of November. WTF? Blergh.

Better than the last one, but only 10,000 words this time before I conceded defeat. Shit happens. It was still 10k more than what I started with. But with my crazy schedule I just could not make it work.

So, in the end, I don’t think I fit with NaNo or that NaNo fits with me. And that’s okay. I do envy a tiny bit the camaraderie and the fun activities, but I’ll just cheer on the writers for whom this platform works. I don’t think I’m the only one out here for whatever reason chooses not to participate in NaNo, but it is fun to give it a try to see if it works for you. If it does, that’s great! If not, that’s great too, because believe it or not, I learned a lot from my mistakes. Especially with the first book. Wow. I kind of got that word vomit out of the way so that’s a good thing. I might try it again at some point, although it won’t be this year.

What about you? Are you doing NaNo or taking a pass?

One thought on “NaNo”

  1. Been doing NaNo since 97, and mostly successful (8/9 finished drafts). Since I’m a pantser who resists much more than a crayon outline on a napkin, I need a really strong story idea with interesting world and implications and a character or two. Detailed outline/character prep strangled my muse into a smear of coke and cheese grease. Trying to write longhand in the hospital didn’t help as it had been too long.

    Nano now is more like a booster shot to boost my focus on a single project. Usually I have 2-3 active projects, that swap due to deadlines, but a lot of distraction creeps in. The high output and accountable deadline helps motivate me to prune away rec activity. By summer I’m doing good if I hit two hours on productive writing tasks.

    Right now I’m using Camp NaNo with a 45 hour revision deadline for this month. Some years the laser focus breaks blocks on other projects and I have about 2k output on other projects each days. One year was a frenzy, but at minimum I get a lot put out and recharge my focus before the holiday slwodown. I don’t do the public events in libraries or starbucks, just a little low key comparison with a handful of writer friends by the numbers. It’s a meta took, especially since Creatspace dropped the best of the prezzies in the winner’s package. Most are for tools and services discounts.

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