Sunday, 18 October 2009

ANYONE FOR NANOWRIMO??

Any of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Do you even know what it is?? To find out, and to find out about my experiences, read how I blogged about it after doing a private version with some other children's writers and then check out the official site.


When I did my Nanowrimo, I found it very positively challenging and interesting. It was tiring, sometimes frantic, but it energised rather than exhausted me. If you decide to join in the international one, PLEASE let us know how you get on. But do prepare for it  -  you must be at the right place in a piece of writing or idea and may need to make some alterations to your routines. You'll probably need to stock up on coffee and chocolate, too.

I'm not doing the official one, because I am not in the right place and, besides, one thing I learnt was that I could do it myself, or perhaps with a friend  -  a "writing buddy". What it mostly does is force you to find time to write, nagged  -  sorry, encouraged  -  by other people. It puts writing at the top of your to-do list (where it should already be for me but often isn't); it challenges your perceptions of what you can do, your habits and your entrenched beliefs in the writing process. All those things are good.

It's something you'll love or hate. It could change your life, or at least your writing life. And for many of us, that's the biggest part we want to change.

Even if you don't do a NaNoWriMo, do consider buying this fabulous book. It's genuinely eye-opening, and I say that as someone not addicted to self-help books or books that claim to sort out my life:


And if you'd like to swing
a few pennies my way
in doing so,
please buy it through this link.

29 comments:

Deb Salisbury said...

I'll be doing an unofficial NaNo, since I've already started my novel.

Nicola, check out your link to Amazon for No Plot, No Problem. It heads out to the ozone.

Nicola Morgan said...

Thank you, Deb - what would I do without helpful people like you?!

Nicola Morgan said...

Oh, and GOOD LUCK - keep us posted?

writtenwyrdd said...

I do NaNo and I 'cheat' by working on a current project. The thing is I do NOT need to start anything new, but to finish the WIPs I already have. So if I get 50k additional words, great.

I'm under wyrddsmith at the site if anyone wants to buddylist me. :)

baileythebookworm said...

I'm definitely doing NaNo again this year -this will be my fifth year participating, and I'm really excited to get involved again! I always feel like NaNo gets me creatively charged for months afterward, which is a great thing to have, especially in winter when I turn into a grumpy hermit.

sheilamcperry said...

I'm planning to do it for the fourth time. It is never the right time for me (and never will be, as long as I have 3 previous NaNoNovels still unedited and a giant golden egg to make for a local pantomime!) but I can't resist the chance to start something new. My strategy this year is not to have a strategy but to go where the story takes me - this has worked in the past so isn't too much of a gamble...

Lost Wanderer said...

I am doing NaNo this year, and really excited about it. The fact that thousands of people across the world will provide some healthy competition motivates me. And it makes one feel part of a writing community.

Barb said...

I am taking on Nano for the first time - I am doing all my research at the moment. Can't wait to get started!

Mireyah Wolfe said...

This year will be my first in doing NaNo--I chickened out last year, and thinking back, I'm glad I did. (I so wasn't in the proper mindset for it.)

I started getting ready two months ago, so I think I'm pretty set for it...I hope. lol

Sally Clements said...

I'm doing Nano for the 8th time, I've managed to win by getting to 50,000 twice, and find it invaluable. I love the forums, you can get instant feedback from other writers in other areas of the world about police uniforms in Kentucky or anything you're looking for. My advice to myself is just keep writing. Even if its crap, just keep writing and hopefully you can pan some gold out of it next January!

catdownunder said...

And there I was feeling guilty because I took time out to write exactly (and I did count very carefully) 100 words! Now I am trying to envisage 50,000 neatly placed side by side in a month, all held in place by a cat hair. No, I think I might look as if I have mange.

Iapetus999 said...

This will be my third year. Previously I just did it for fun, not caring about the quality or content, but this year I intend to use this to launch a new project that I hope to market if it's good.

Anonymous said...

Bah on NaNoWriMo. I'm trapped in NaNoWrLi. Maybe I'll take the month to -not- write.

Also: humbug!

Pippa said...

It'll be my first time participating this year. I'm starting in chapter two of a novel I've been trying to write all year. So far, chapter one has been written and re-written 22 times, so if NaNoWriMo gets me beyond the beginning I'll be thrilled. If I make it to 50K words, I won't care if I burst the zippers off all my jeans or die of a coffee and chocolate overdose - I'll finally have a dreadful first draft!

Amanda Acton said...

First time NaNo. I only found out about it earlier this year. >_< ... anyways, I'm just going to go a bit insane and write something Douglas Adamsy/ Terry Pratchetty and see what happens. :P

Lacer said...

I'll be doing it, it'll be my second time. I always said (after my first time) that I wasn't going to do it again, November is not a good month for me but hey writing first! Plus this year I'm actually in a good position, as I've just completed the first draft of my current wip, so I'm in a good position to start something new whilst my other manuscript rests and you never know, by the end of November I may have complete first drafts of two different stories!

Flixton Mum said...

I am doing it for the first time, but am in a quandry. I have a novel that I need to write before I boil my head, but I've already played with it a bit and this is not in NaNo rules and I do worry about rules.
So, should I start a new project for NaNo? Would that be cheating my original novel if I start a month long affair with a new one?
Am I mad?
Am thinking about this too much?
I'm in danger of not writing anything because I'm worrying about the non-essentials aren't I?

Catherine Hughes said...

My first novel's first draft was a NaNo success and I can quite honestly say it really did change my life. I will try and blog about that when the flu releases it's stranglehold on me!

My advice is to just do it. I have an idea that's been with me for some time - all I know is my main characers, although they don't even have names yet. Just like last time, I shall open a document and will simply start typing. I'm not one for much planning anyway, but the NaNo approach definitely works.

Will_Couper said...

I did NaNoWriMo last year and managed to get over fifty thousand words in about seventeen days. I enjoyed it and tried a different kind of story than I would normally consider, which made it extremely rewarding.

I've been spending a lot of time tidying up the piece I did in preparation for sending it to an agent or a publisher.

I'm considering doing it again this year, but, as you say I need to get all my other stuff sorted out ahead of that.


Will

Kate said...

Great post as usual Nicola. I would love to participate but just don't have time to breathe at the moment.

Wishing everyone luck who it though

Kate x

Nicola Morgan said...

So good to see so many of you are up for it! Or doing your own versions.

Flistonmum - YES, you ARE worrying about the inessentials! Nanowrimo (as with any other writing tool) should be your slave, not your master. Do it in any way that serves you and sod the rules. The rules are there to help, but if they don't help, break the bastards! And stop the moment it stops helping you.

Emma said...

I too am tackling NaNoWriMo for the first time this year.

I have to say that I was encouraged to take the plunge earlier on in the year after reading about your NaNo experience.

I loved checking in and marvelling at your word count too!

I have Chris Baty's book, I've read the first half of it, which was great, but I'm saving the rest to read during the month (the second half is designed to be read week by week during the competition, I'm treating it like a special NaNo advent calendar!!)

I'm under Tangledally on the Nano site if anyone wants to find me. :)

suzy vitello soulé said...

Thanks for the brilliant comments.

I've resisted NaNo for years, but am giving in. More like jumping in (and it really does feel like a cold, deep vortex of water).

I just finished a draft of a novel and it took me more than 2 years, so this is a personal experiment to see if a publicly declared deadline will produce in me the necessary daily obsession.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Also doing an unofficial NaNo. It's a perfect time for me--I have something very rough I've been thinking about going back to but had procrastinated due to not being sure I cared enough. This gives me the ideal opportunity to write 50,000 words in 30 days, without worrying about editing myself. They may be 50,000 garbage words, but I'll worry about that later. In fact, due to not caring about anything but word count, maybe I'll take some crazy chances and come up with something really unique for me. A new departure on my usual style? I'm enthusiastic about what may result from this.

Lilithas said...

I'm participating in NaNoWriMo, though it was all because of you, otherwise I never would've even known what it was!

I had been reading your old webpage (need2bpublished), read the article on NaNo, and decided to find out what it was, since you made it sound like an interesting challenge.

So thanks to you, I'm officially doing my debut NaNo this year. Good luck on your unofficial one, though. ;)

Jan said...

I did it last year and it was utterly amazing. I wanted to do it for the idea of breaking habits and just getting a lot down and pushing on without thinking about whether it is any good, which is such a paralyzing thought for me. And it worked!

I didn't win - I wrote 27,000 words between Nov 1 and Nov 23, skipping only three days. Then the paralysis made a sneak, winning attack, mainly based on the stupid yet seductive idea that "reaching 50,000 is now impossible, so quit now".

But I was and am so proud, especially since I did this in the month where my spirits sink steadily with the retreating daylight and warmth. This year, my goal is to carry on to the end of the month (and I promise myself not to stress about a missed day here or there) without stressing about the total number. Thanks for blogging about it so positively, Nicola. I totally agree that it's a wonderful, helpful idea and the true spirit of it is to do it in the way that will work best for you!

fairyhedgehog said...

This will be my fifth time. I won three times and got 25,000 words last year. I prefer winning but any amount of words is good.

I'm an amateur and I write as a hobby so Nano is a real challenge for me and I love it. (My nanoname is fairyhedgehog if anyone is interested.)

Clare S said...

Thanks for another great post!

I'm doing an unoffial NaNo this year as I've got Part 1 of a WIP done and want to get back on the horse after a month or so away from writing.

I'm only going to aim for 30,000 words, simply because I've got a lot on in November (Birthday, anniversary, moving house and job-hunting) and I know that if I'm nowhere near target, I'm likely to give up.

I'd rather have a realistic goal and beat it, than aim for a higher one and give up - I get more of a kick out of writing 1,000 words in a day if I was only aiming for 750 than if I was aiming for 1,250. I suppose that's an important thing for writing in general as well as NaNos - knowing what motivates and de-motivates you.

Ameris said...

I've participated a couple of times, however, being in school as I am, it always falls right about midterms/finals time (they all run together after a while). So I'm never able to put my full concentration into it, and I haven't yet actually completed it. I really wish it took place in a more convenient month. :-(