NaNoWriMo: I still need some convincing

Hey NaNo friends, new and old…I am terribly on the fence about doing NaNo this year. It’s not that I don’t have the time. It’s more like I lack the motivation…in all of my writing.

That being said, I think maybe NaNo could get me back on track…or end up being a colossal failure.

So if you’ve done NaNo, remind me of what was so great about it. Or what I won’t miss if I don’t do it. And if you’ve never done it, but are thinking of doing it for the first time, share with me the excitement of your innocence.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Don’t tell, but I’m doing NaNoWriMo « Kathan Ink.
  2. Natasha
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 20:48:24

    Gee, by getting to the party late I get to read all this great advice from everyone! I think you should do whatever feels right, but I selfishly hope you decide to join the rest of the merry NaNo pranksters. I would NEVER have gotten as much raw material together without NaNo. Do I have a finished novel from last year? Nah, but I’ve got a lot more than if I hadn’t taken the challenge. And there’s no law that says you have to finish if you start and decide it’s not the right time.


  3. darksculptures
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 07:12:19

    I’ve been trying hard not offer any advice lately, but maybe I’ll just throw some options out there for you to consider SHOULD you decide to try NaNoWriMo again this year. (You know I’d love to have you on the hay ride, but you have to do what feels right.)

    NaNoWriMo is not about publishing or even producing an edit ready novel. It is about making a commitment to writing and seeing it through. (I am a novelist at heart and I write novels, but just because that is what I do during NaNo doesn’t mean it is the only way to approach November.) In other words, be Kathan, not DS. 🙂

    Here are a few Non-Novel suggestions.

    1.) Just freewrite. Every morning I freewrite and it always results in 418 to 2500 words. Is it a novel? No, not really, but the rules of NaNoWriMo never state that you MUST produce a coherent novel.

    However, it is writing nonetheless and often I find it very freeing. You could think of November as your dump month. Dump all that stuff out of your brain and free it up for the rest of the year. 😀

    2.) Pick an event in your life and write about it from the viewpoint of every person involved. The result is a collection of shorts you can deem an anthology tied by a common thread.

    3.) Rewrite what you wrote last year, but write it with more focus.

    4.) Watch a movie you have never seen before with the sound off and write the story as you imagine it is happening.

    Anyway, I’m sure you can come up with something IF you want. I’m standing by you no matter what you choose to do.

    PS – Thanks for the shout-out, Dayner.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Oct 13, 2010 @ 11:14:26

      “…the rules of NaNoWriMo never state that you MUST produce a coherent novel…” Great point, DS!! I keep forgetting that.

      I also love your ideas and might use a couple of them if I do make the commitment. As for the others, they are terrific ideas for the idea-less and I hope someone else uses them!!


  4. Parrot Writes
    Oct 12, 2010 @ 21:37:47

    Great advice Shaddy. This is my first year with NaNo. Heck- this is my first year WRITING! I’m going in with an outline that has some big holes and a mission to complete at least 50,000 words of my story. It may not be in order, nor great writing, but I’m excited to give it a try. I do best with deadlines, so this is a mother of one, and I’m going to give it my best shot!


    • Kathan Lewis
      Oct 13, 2010 @ 11:11:40

      Yeah! Your first year!! That’s so great that you’re doing it. I have a couple high school friends that I keep in touch with on Facebook…they are thinking about doing it, too. All these ‘new’ people could really push me to do it. I hate to miss a party!!


  5. dayner
    Oct 12, 2010 @ 19:08:21

    Go back and read No Plot? No Problem!, I remember that being a big motivator for you last year. I’m not as enthusiastic about it this year either, but I’m too competitive to not participate. 🙂 I’m getting more excited as I plan my story, thanks to DS for helping me with that. Her ten steps have been a big help.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Oct 13, 2010 @ 11:10:14

      I know, I think the idea of planning this year is daunting to me. I wanted to do it so bad, but I am still not back to 100%, which is what’s making this decision so hard. NPNP was a great book and I loved it. Maybe I’ll go back and read my posts…but I did realize through the edited process that what he said was too basic.


  6. Shaddy
    Oct 12, 2010 @ 17:04:24

    I just came from posting a NaNoWriMo gadget on my blog. I need motivation to write and participating last year worked for me.

    I find joy in just writing what comes to mind without preparation. I find my imagination works rather well when I don’t censor myself. Last year, I wrote approximately 1,666 words per day which is 50,000 divided by 30 days. On weekdays, even after working 8 hours, I didn’t have any trouble reaching my daily word goal. On weekends, I would usually go over my daily quota. We were going away for a few days at Thanksgiving, so I worked extra hard so I’d reach 50,000 before we left.

    I really don’t care what I write. It doesn’t matter. I don’t have to share my writing with anybody. I can write chapters that are totally unrelated to each other if I want and still call it a novel. To me, NaNoWriMo is just a good excuse to write with abandon.

    I’ll probably just sit down on November 1st and let my mind go. My novel may begin with my main character leaving a note for her husband telling him that she wants to live her childhood dream of being a truck driver. She’ll take her Chevy Avalanche and just go.

    I’m not giving it any more thought than that. I’m planning to have fun throughout the month of November going places and meeting people I don’t even know about yet.

    Call me crazy or follow my example. Since at least part of you is interested, I say go for it. If you write 100 words and stop, you haven’t failed. You’ve written 100 words. If you write for one week and stop, you haven’t failed. You’ve written for 7 days and that’s something to feel good about.

    Don’t put any pressure on yourself and I bet you’ll have some fun.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Oct 13, 2010 @ 11:04:22

      Shaddy, I love where you said, “NaNoWriMo is just a good excuse to write with abandon.” You are so right and this is a good reason alone to do it.

      And I also am excited that you’re writing about your female truck-driving protag. I can’t wait to see what you do with it!


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