#ROW80: NaNoNoMo

I realize that it’s a blasphemy to say this, but I’ve had it with NaNoWriMo. I’m not giving up on it this year; in fact, as you’ll see later, I started a new writing project for it this past week, one that I haven’t a chance in hell of finishing by November 30th without a Herculean effort. And I’m good with that. I have other things on my mind. Such as focusing my attention on learning Javascript (I started a new online class on Thursday), firming up my knowledge of Ruby on Rails, generating ideas, etc. I’m not the only one thinking the same thing. Regardless, this year is my last. I had said some time ago that I wanted to focus on short stories and memoir, and attempting a 50K-word novel in November gets neither of those done.

So, to review:

  1. Generate 50 new ideas this week: Nowhere near 50, but one of them is my new NaNo project. This week’s idea generation will likely be about creating work samples.
  2. NaNoWriMo: Sometime in the midst of working on the two projects I had planned on, a new one sort of jumped up and said, “ooh! Write me!” I started that Wednesday, and so far have around 6K words written. I will consider it a success if I reach 25K by November 30.
  3. Read 30 minutes a day: Mary and I have been binge-listening to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum stories on CD from the library. I heard all of Hot Six yesterday. It’s much different listening as opposed to reading the books. Mary said she thinks she gets a better idea of the characters by listening. I’m tempted to introduce Stephanie to my Mary Cecelia. (For that matter, I should introduce MC to all of you.) Might be an interesting project.
  4. Work samples website: I keep thinking of things I’d like to learn to do and include on the site. As mentioned previously, brainstorming ideas for the site is my task for this week.
  5. FlexJobs: I’m still hearing from recruiters, and I stop to see how it will play out. Two weeks from today, December 1, is still my target date. I still plan on that, since my unemployment runs out at the end of January. I’ll need to find some kind of work when that happens.

That’s all for this week. Straight ahead.

11 thoughts on “#ROW80: NaNoNoMo

  1. This is my third NaNo (the last two were 2009 and 2010) and this is the first year I attended a local event. It was awful, only three people turned up and it was very awkward, I won’t be going back. For me it is the publicly declaring it that helps push me forward and it has been working really well, up until a few days ago when I was struck with crippling headaches and now I am way behind. If I don’t meet the 50k by the month’s end it will feel like a failure but I know that I have got more writing done than already than is normal for me in a month and it doesn’t seem to recognise that, so I totally understand giving up on the whole NaNo thing and have been considering it myself. I think we all need to find a method that works for us and as long as we are moving forward that’s all that matters.

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  2. What’s funny about NaNo for me… I don’t really do any of the local stuff, and I get writer support through ROW80 all year long. I am simply motivated by publicly declaring that I will write 50K words on an official site. It’s crazy. I should be able to motivate myself. (Can you hear my whining?) As long as you are making progress and you are excited about a project, it’s a success!

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    1. I know some people need to tell the world that they plan on writing 50K words during November. If that’s what it takes, then it’s worth it. The trick is to continue writing at that pace after November, although if you get in the habit of writing two pages (500 words) a day, that’s 730 pages in a year (520 if you take the weekends off). But, like you said, the trick is to make progress and keep up the enthusiasm for the project. At the end of the day, word volume isn’t as important as making progress.

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  3. I’m with you, John, but this year I’m a NaNo rebel, committing to writing 500 words a day. I’ve used NaNoWriMo three years to jumpstart novels I want to write. I’ll be e-pubbing Book 1 this year, Book 2 early next year, and just getting a running start on Book 3 (the last one). I say follow your heart, write what you want. If participating in NaNo in any way helps your writing, have fun. But tell the stories you love and don’t worry about the numbers. Hope that helps. Guess you can tell from the comments here that people have strong opinions about NaNo. PS I’d love to hear more about Mary Cecelia too! And yes to posting snippets!!!! Write on.

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    1. The first Mary Cecelia post is out there. Hope you like it.

      This post by Ryan Casey is worth reading. He points out that, at 500 words a day, you have a novel (65,000 words) in six months, then asks, “What about the other six months?” That’s why I think ROW80 is such a great idea: you set the goals, if you exceed them one week and don’t the next, it’s all right. I look at it as building good habits.

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  4. I finished Nano two years in a row…I think 2010 & 2011, But never again. NEVER. Spewing out words that fast and ignoring editing isn’t my style of writing. i’m an edit as you go kind of girl. 🙂

    The Stephanie Plum books are MUCH better on audio. You can’t beat listening to those antics. LOL

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    1. We found that we get more of an idea of who Stephanie Plum and the other characters are when you listen to the books as opposed to reading them. Doesn’t work that way with every audiobook, but with hers it does.

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  5. John, I have to say that I’m with you on this NaNo thing. This was my first NaNo, and will be my last. I had heard a lot about the community and the mutual excitement, only to find that the local group did nothing but throw numbers at each other. Since I will be ecstatic if I reach 10,000 at the end of the month, being deluged with numbers is not helpful, especially when any other interaction is few and far between.

    Umm, sorry this turned into a rant. Personally, I’d love to meet Mary Cecelia. 🙂

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    1. Exactly. Who cares about the numbers? All I ever ended up with was a novel that I never wanted to see again.

      You’ll get your chance to meet Mary Cecelia very soon.

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