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Friday, November 15, 2013

November is National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month. It's commonly referred to as NaNoWriMo and it seems everyone in the world is participating. Except me. Not me. Not this year. This year is my personal NaNoWri-NO.

The idea behind NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This gets ideas down, helps aspiring authors develop the habit of writing and it builds community and fellowship between budding wordsmiths and established authors. NaNoWriMo can be a ton of fun. It can also make you twitch and feel kind of stabby. No? Just me then.

This would have been my fifth year attempting NaNo. It also would've been my fifth year failing. I'm not sure if it's my hardheadedness or what, but I hate the pressure of tracking my word counts. I don't feel camaraderie as I log my daily numbers on the site or answer questions about how it's going on social media. I feel frustrated for having to account for what I'm doing. I get twitchy as I watch the word count bars soar from some of my fellow authors while mine stagnates. I get angsty and cranky and to be completely honest, I quit. Somewhere mid-month, I throw my hands in the air and scream for a while, then I quit.

It's okay. NaNoWriMo isn't for everyone. This year, I'm moving past the guilt. Normally, I chastise myself for not loving the experience. I feel inept for quitting. I eat my weight in pumpkin donuts and spiced chai lattes. Fifteen days ago, I gave myself permission to say No to WriMo. And it was liberating. Who knew?

It's funny how many things I've learned about myself since the day I opened Google and typed in "How to write a book." I think that's one of the best parts about writing. Discovering who we are. Learning the truth about ourselves that we never thought to ask. Some things make perfect sense, like the fact I'm a fierce feminist. Other things make no sense like why I can write 80,000 words in six weeks on a deadline, but can't bring myself to finish 50,000 in November despite the entire world of friends cheering me on. *shrugs*

So, this year, I'm taking time off to cheer others on. I'm an absolute fan of the event. Picture me typing with a big foam finger. Hey, if you're NaNoing this month, I'm rooting for you. I am. You can do it! You've got this! *high kicks* *pom poms*

I'm changing gears. Instead of writing this month, I'm plotting a project for the new year. I'm outlining and brainstorming and doing something I've wanted to do for ages....I'm writing fan fiction. Tell me, are you writing this month for NaNoWriMo? How's it going? Can I encourage you today? Are you a Fan Fiction writer or reader? What's your story of choice? Tell me what you're up to this month. I'm listening :)

7 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

"NaNoWri-NO" - LOL. I love that. I actually said that, too...until the manuscript I was SUPPOSED to be editing stopped talking to me. Seriously, I was about to tear my hair out.

So I turned to a new project and decided to give NaNo a try again (I've been doing it a few years, too), and whoa, nellie. The words have been flying, which is wonderful (considering that other manuscript which shall not be named). ;)

Today is the midway point for NaNoers and I'm a couple thousand short, but I'm okay with that. I'm so much more productive generating these new words than I was editing that other MS. However, I AM jealous that you're in that fun, taking-time-off-to-plot mode. My favorite phase!!

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Anne Marie! I'm totally stoked to hear the words are flying for you! I love those moments in the writer life. Go You Go! I can't wait to hear how this year's NaNo novel took your author life to a new level. I have a feeling it definitely will! *cartwheeling in Ohio* for you!

Rita said...

I'm a NO also. Good thing. Physical problems have kept me from doing anything but plotting.

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Rita, I'm really enjoying this month as a plotting month. Lots of fun ideas are working themselves out in my cluttered head. Hope your plot unfolds in a truly mind blowing way. I'm plotting right beside you :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

Julie Anne, NaNo would probably kill me. It's just as well it's never appealed to me, although I admire the folks who participate.

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Marcelle,
I am right with you. Nano goers seem to have an amazing time, but I never survived it LOL

jean harrington said...

omg, if forced into a NaNo, etc. i'd have to quit writing and turn to my second love--torch singing. On top of a piano.

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