And Then There’s November…

With this renewed urge to get my blog up to speed (how many times have I written this) I thought it wise to start my posts on NaNoWriMo 2010. For those of you who don’t know what it is, NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month an international event in which thousands of crazy people (like yours truly) attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. You need to average exactly 1667 words a day to reach 50,000 words on the 30rd of November. In an ideal world, you should rather try to aim for 2000 words, as that gives you a little bit of breathing space for those not so productive days (or crisis days in which crazy out-of-your-hands stuff will happen).


And, non productive days there will be.


Writing is patient, but it is also unpredictable. Sometimes you can write thousands of words in a day (my record is 8000 words) and sometimes, none will come your way. With a project like NaNo, which takes a lot of creative effort (especially if you are not used to writing so much for so many consecutive days) it is only natural that you will run out of steam here towards the end. I started 5 days late last year, and for the first week or two constantly felt as if I was chasing a goal that felt unreachable (because every day, the words that you need become more and more…)

But, it worked out in the end because I believe that I was persistent.


The thing is also that NaNoWriMo is not about quality work per say, it’s more a shot for quantity and bulk. You can always edit later, but once you have your framework for your novel down, you are one step closer to achieving your goal. Whether it is just to complete it or to publish it eventually.


And, what I had liked about NaNo was the encouragement that people gave each other in the forums and behind the scenes. Write-Ins were a wonderful opportunity to meet people within your region who are as dedicated to writing as you are. It’s nice to see that there are other people out there who like to spend time in their heads almost as much as they do in the real world (or more so in my case… ;)). For a solitary profession, it’s good to do it in a group.


So, if you are thinking about doing NaNo, I’d like to use this post to encourage you to try. To sign up for this once a year (but once in a lifetime I can assure you) experience. If it’s anything like last year, it’s going to be a ball…

4 thoughts on “And Then There’s November…

  1. Ryan September 16, 2010 / 5:20 am

    When I first heard about NaNoWriMo last November, I couldn’t figure out why any writer would be more interested in quantity than quality, lol. I’m still not sure why, except of course to give editors fits, which is always fun. Maybe I can wait for Nov. 29 to start and write about procrastinating. Nah!

    • Alyssa September 16, 2010 / 9:19 pm

      LOL, Ryan – You’ll give ME a heart attack if you do and manage that feat…

      Come on, you can do it… you’ve grown so much in your writing… Maybe this is the next step?

  2. fyrefly September 16, 2010 / 2:31 pm

    I agree, you’re all crazy, 50, 000 words in 30 days! – Crazy in a good way, of course 🙂

    Wouldn’t it be good if there was, like a special writing mood jutsu, or something. Just some quick words, a few hand gestures and BAM! The writing happens… Though, being able to control when you write might take some of the fun out of it. I kinda like having an idea, or words for something I’m working on, just pop into my head out of nowhere.

    • Alyssa September 16, 2010 / 9:21 pm

      I read a quote once where the person said that a writer writes what the character does, characters don’t do what the writer writes. 😉
      Also – Richard Bach – One of my favourite authors (you should all know him by now) said once that:
      If you practice being fictional for a while, you’ll realize that it’s more real then life.
      I love that.

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