Thursday, October 20, 2011

To NaNo or not to NaNo, that is the question

For years now, every November, I have heard no end of people who are participating in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo. At first, as I do with many things, I did not pay it much attention. I love to write and all but I am not a novelist so what do I care? Of course then my curiosity got the best of me and I started to look into it.

Basically it is a project where you attempt to write a novel in a month. Yes that sounds more than a little insane to me, and it should. Do you realize how much writing that is? In a month? Yea I am not that sort of masochist, or at least that is what I have been telling myself.

Up until last year I never knew anyone personally that participated in NaNo, and I had certainly never read the efforts of the project before. So when I was presented with the opportunity to see what someone accomplished in that month, I was a little floored. It was impressive to say the least. I mean the work I read was very raw and needed a lot of work, but functionally it was a novel that was written in 30 days.

Still, was this something I wanted to attempt to do? I have been getting more serious about my writing in the last few years, and this would certainly be a large step in the direction I am wanting to go in. I work amazingly well under pressure, and considering I loath missing a deadline I would get something written. If I could do it this time, even if it turned out clunky and raw, why couldn't I do it again? Why couldn't I do it better next time? Why couldn't I turn this raw thing into something brilliant? Why not?

Honestly I am liking this idea more and more. The only thing holding me back is the fact that I can not devote the full 30 days to writing. For one thing I have my commitment to faire. Every Saturday and Sunday as well as the Friday after Thanksgiving I will be at faire working, and I promise you there is no time to write. By the time the faire day is done and dinner has been had, I am lucky if I don't pass out right away. The other issue is that we are taking a four day trip to New Orleans to celebrate the husbeasts birthday and our anniversary. There is no way I will do any writing during that week.

So pretty much I would be saying that I am going to write a novel in 15 days, half the time of everyone else. That is a little crazy. Now I could work on a project that I have already put a little leg work into. I have a piece that I would love to write that I already have roughly 50k words written for. Is that cheating?

I am not sure what to do. It is something to think about. What do you think?


  1. There's a NaBloPoMo... or something like that too, where the challenge is to blog every day, for the month of November.

    I don't know that I have 30 days of stuff to say all at once...

  2. Well hell I don't even have access to a computer every day in the month because of faire so I couldn't do that. I have a lot of stuff to say, I think I could come up with something, but I couldn't post every day.

  3. The year before last I did NaNo in eight days. It took maybe two, three hours each day. It's definitely do-able, depending what else you have going on. I'm doing it for the sixth time this year, hoping to rack up my fifth consecutive win. I don't know what I'm writing about yet, I just have faith that it'll come.

  4. Maybe treat is as a challenge to yourself - the daily word count is 1667 or something - perhaps aim for that many words on the days you can write.