Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo: The results...

So, NaNoWriMo is over. Did I win? Nope.

For anybody not aware of NaNoWriMo, it is National Novel Writing Month and happens every November. It is all about drop-kicking your inner editor and writing with a frenzy something that is mostly crap, but still a completed piece. You have to do 50,000 words in one month. Which, for any non-writer out there, is a formidable task to achieve...period, yet alone in one single month.

I wanted to participate last year and (I think) the year before. I did not. I was lame. This year I thought for sure I would do it. That I might just win! But I took too long on my outline, worked on it up to the very last minute...and then some. Perhaps I was procrastinating (yes, of course I was). As it ended up, I didn’t start the actual writing until nearly the end of the month. I wrote about 10,000 words in a week, but that wasn’t enough to finish out the month a winner.

Sure, there’s no prize and no fame, but you do get a nifty little logo to put on your blog—and we always need more of those.

So, I suppose I am not a winner and instead I am a NaNoWriMo loser.

I won’t let this stop me, I will finish this novel in the spirit of NaNoWriMo (if not in the actual month). I want to say that I’ll finish it by the next week, but I’m going to cop out and say the next week or two.

What’s the point you (the NaNoWriMo uninitiated) might ask? It is to write furiously and crazily.


Simple, as writers, it is as common as a waffling politician to hesitate on every sentence, to ponder every word, to debate for hours on the perfect name and to worry about how derivative a scene may sound or a character may talk. It ties us up in knots, leaving us totally oblivious to the fact that we can’t fix any of it. No. Not until we have the book...DONE. Only then can you see what you have and what you need to change.

So drop your inner editor and just write. An outline is ok; but really, the point of the whole thing is to write like mad. I missed that point this year, and I didn’t join it early enough or with the fervor necessary.

I do think my outline is good, it will help me complete the novel quickly. But like I said: I missed the point. I’m annoyed at myself and my hat is off to all the rest of you that managed to pull it off without wussing out.

For now, NaNoWriMo is over, but I am not done writing. Are you?

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