Monday, September 2, 2013

Is NaNoWriMo right-o for you?

It's all downhill from here. That time of year that brings dread and butterflies all at once. The season many, many writers anticipate every year.
We are sliding right into NaNoWriMo time. 
How many of you have experienced National Novel Writing Month in November? Some of you have finished and "won" (written 50,000 words) and some of come close but are still winners in getting words on paper.
I tried NaNo. It's crazy and fun. I, myself, have finished four stories, thanks to NaNo. I've worked and typed and penned and eked out 55,000 every time. NaNo is a great motivator to writing a new story, it's the editing that drags on me.
But November is soooo hard! November is soooo busy! November is full of family activities, Thanksgiving vacation and planning Christmas. My family wants me to be with them during this month.

This summer I heard about Camp NaNoWriMo, a summer camp for NaNo-ers. When you sign up your get cabin mates who encourage you along and fireside talks to get your backside into gear. So I signed up and guess what I learned? July is busier than November! I only got 13,000 words written. July is summer vaca, so everybody is home. And bored. At least in November the kids are in school for most of the month and its easier to find free writing time.

I need to insert here that I made a personal writing rule for myself. This rule makes for a happy home: I'm off the computer while the family is home. See how this rule conflicts with summer vacation?
And I'm not going to lie--NaNo is hard. I don't write on Sundays and many times Saturdays are spent with family, then Thanksgiving break comes along and any other holidays and wham-o! There really are not thirty days to write. It's more like twenty. Which equals *counts on fingers**gives up* a lot of words a day.

NaNo may not seem right for everyone. There are many who write slower than others. And you have to totally turn off and ignore your inner critic. But I believe it's worth a shot. Even if you don't make 50,000, you have started a new story, which is always good. And who knows what that will end up? Could be your next published work.

Positives:
Focused writing
Complete a novel in thirty days
New, fresh ideas will surface
Can be done if you are a pantser or outliner

Negatives:
Stress
Hard to find time to sit and write
Finishing on time 
Harder to do if you are an outliner
 
 
Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? What did you think? How did you do?
When do you think is a good month to do NaNo? February? September?

5 comments:

Bruce Luck said...

Last year was my first NaNo. I liked it but my story was not planned out and I kept hitting dead spots with it. I've been working that story since and it still loses itself periodically. Didn't get 50 K words then; doubt I have it yet.

Scott said...

I did a mini NaNo (or NaMa) last year during a two-week vacation in May. It surprised me how productive I was able to be by focusing my writing efforts for those two weeks. Problem is, the only way that's possible for me is to take off from work. It doesn't help that I write for a living. Coming home from a day of writing and writing for a few more hours every day is difficult and not fun.

That vacation made me think I could actually do NaNo. I always think of myself as a slow writer. But I'd have to take the whole month off. That's unlikely.

So, all I can do is cheer for the rest of you, and look on with envy.

Yamile said...

I'm already plotting my Nano :-) So excited!!!!

Julie Daines said...

I'm a huge NaNo fan. My success stories have all been NaNo manuscripts. It's freaking hard, but it works for me.

Taffy said...

I'm getting ready for NaNo too. A story came to mind a few weeks ago and I really, really want to start it! But I decided I'd wait until November and see how that works out.