NaNoWriMo–What The Hell Was I Thinking?


NaNoWriMo applique
NaNoWriMo applique (Photo credit: The Sean & Lauren Spectacular)

Okay–so I’ve done it again..something stupid, something silly, something asinine and outrageous.

I joined NaNoWriMo this year. Willingly, of my own accord.

I’ve never done anything like this before. Never caved in to pressure from condescending, holier-than-thou writers who claimed to have seen the light, crossed the cross-roads, stared into the headlights of the train coming at them at full-tilt without bowing before the images of words on a page…but this year I did.

This year I vowed to enter the NaNoWriMo challenge and not only that, but I vowed to come out the other side of the challenge intact, glorified and beaming with worldly pride.

Woman doing the loser sign

I am such a loser.

Here it is, already Nov 5 (albeit early Nov 5), and I just completed my first 1000 words in my quest to write 50,000 words in thirty days.

That puts me, (I’m not great at math so please go with me here, friends…A LOT behind where I should be). And by a LOT, I mean, a lot of words, a lot of sentences and a lot of paragraphs!

Chapters? Don’t even get me started on those!

As far as I can tell I’m still on my first chapter…how on earth will I know when I’m finished? Will there be a trumpet sounding? A ‘da-da’ in the air? A ‘you-go, girl, now let’s move on to the next chapter so that you can finish the greatest story ever told?’

Will I know when the characters need a break, the narrative needs a climax, the story needs an arc?

I have no idea.

I only know that tonight I tried to catch up on my NaNoWriMo challenge and I succeeded in writing about eight hundred more words…nowhere near enough to put me on par with other NaNoWriMo writers across the globe, but more than enough to make me think that I may actually be able to accomplish SOMETHING this month…maybe not a novel of 50,000 words…but that’s okay–what’s wrong with a novella, or a short story, even…or a grocery list…

Grocery list
Grocery list (Photo credit: Patrn)

Nothing. As long as I’m writing. So that’s my ultimate goal for this month. To write. To write with jet-lag and broken ribs and depression and a rash that I can’t identify and stress about what life is currently tossing my way…

So Happy NaNoWriMo…may the force be with you!

And if it isn’t with you, may it at least not be against you…(maybe that’s all we can really hope for, in the end, to not have the force against us.)

Happy November…and don’t be a stranger!

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33 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo–What The Hell Was I Thinking?

    1. Hi Ronnie–it’s funny but those are exactly the questions I’m asking myself these last few days…people say it is the challenge alone that is the prize…knowing that you can complete a project you set out to do. But I seem to be quickly discovering that this challenge may not be the best way for me to write…instead of being inspired I find that I’m in limbo, unsure of where I’m going with it and I don’t see the sense in continuing unless I have at least some idea what the characters want me to write.

      I don’t count this as a failure for me, though–even if I don’t continue with NaNoWriMo I have learned certain things about myself and about what I want and don’t want to write….in fact, I think I’ll probably need to document these discoveries in a new blog post.

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting. I always love hearing from you. 🙂

      1. I haven’t participated, and thought once or twice, ‘Maybe I’m missing out.’ Then life happens: Holidays, family events, and I acquired a nasty flu the last five days of the month. And yet, I still made decent progress on my Great Novel (aka WIP). I think consistency is more important than an epic session of writing.

      2. I think you’re right, Laura…consistency is definitely more important that trying to perform an epic writing session. Now if I could just write consistently I’d be happy!

  1. Personally, I don’t think “forced” writing is the answer! It just creates too much stress. I’d rather write a little bit each day that I could and enjoy the process.

  2. Oh goodie some one who is probably as behind as I am at the moment. I currently have 7k to make up. Don’t you feel rather naff too when it says you wont finish your 50k until sometime in 2013. A rather arrgghhhh no don’t tell me that sensation goes on

  3. i just hit the 10k mark and I’m writing by the seat of my pants. This is the first nano i’ve been really excited about writing for. since it is my sixth one, i guess it had to happen sooner than later. LOL. you’re in my prayers. you can do it!

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Sylvia. Since this is my first NaNoWriMo I’ll just see what happens. But wow, that’s great that you’ve hit the 10K already…you are ahead of the game! Keep me posted…I need inspiration, for sure.

      1. i’m in the middle of planning a conference, so i’m going to slow up a little.

        this is the first in a long time I’ve been revved up about Nano and i’m determined to really win this!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Deep Thinker…I just checked out your blog and enjoyed reading it…am sorry to learn about your father, though.

      It’s nice to know that you’ll be cheering for me. 🙂

  4. Sylvia, don’t give up. Like you said, it’s the writing that’s important.

    Day 5 has dawned. I’ve been up for over three hours and I’m still protrastinating. Each day has been harder than the last, but only want to challenge myself. Challenge yourself. Go Sylvia, Go.

    1. Thanks, Tess…that’s what I have to do, too…but for a woman who rarely runs out of things to say, I confess that I’m not feeling the love of the story I’ve started…may actually abandon it and attempt a different one…now, if that’s not crazy, I don’t know what is! But I’ll keep trying with something and see where I end up on Nov 30. Go, Tess, Go!

  5. This sounds like a great writing challenge … designed to direct the thought process in a specific direction … still 25 days left – you can do it! 🙂

  6. I’m as prolific as anyone and I couldn’t imagine writing 50,000 words in 30 days without indulging in a lot of pointless stream-of-consciousness babbling…But it’s not so much how many words you end up writing, it’s that you put in an honest effort…

    1. That’s a good point, Michael–I use that same strategy when I do housework–it’s not how often I do the tasks, it’s that I put an honest effort into it when I do tackle them, even if it’s just once a year….and darn, wouldn’t you know that the year is almost up now!

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