Recently my “secret” for coming up with blog topics was discovered: I base most entries on conversations in which I am asked for an opinion, answer, or guidance. In those conversations I realize the information is often beneficial to more than just the individual with whom I’m talking, and thus a blog post is born. This, my friends, is one such post:
I was discussing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with a friend who is going to be undertaking the challenge. Naturally I had some advice and words of encouragement, and recalled a few blog posts from years past when I tracked my own progress through the month-long challenge. I figured those may be helpful in some way… so, in tribute to the upcoming 2013 edition of NaNoWriMo, in which many people will be endeavouring to write their own 50k word novel in thirty days, I’ve rounded up my old NaNoWriMo posts.
From my 2008 attempt:
From my 2011 attempt:
Keep in mind as you read through the above posts, I was blogging in-stream while also trying to write 1600+ words per day. Transitioning from stream-of-conscious word-count focused writing to more structured and self-edited blogging was difficult, and it shows in the disjointed posts. Let that in itself be a lesson: writing that much every day is not a small task, but still, it can be done… even while maintaining a 40-60 hour work week and still being somewhat social.
And for those curious, no I won’t be undertaking NaNoWriMo this year… but, I will be making a more concerted effort to use the month to focus on some other writing that I want to accomplish. Using the NaNoWriMo structure as motivation may help me actually get some old goals moving forward.
image credit: (c) 2013 NaNoWriMo.org
For those who may be asking what this all is, here’s a link to explain it all: http://nanowrimo.org/en/about/whatisnano
National Novel Writing Month starts today and ends Nov.30th with a goal of a 50k word novel by the end. You can follow my word count updates over at http://nanowrimo.org/en/participants/acdntlpoet
I’ve updated my profile over on NaNoWriMo.org in the hopes that taking baby steps now will give me enough motivation to really dig in and give this another go. I DID participate back in 2007, and even pulled out a ‘win’ by producing over 50k words in under a month, but what I produced wasn’t even worth trying to edit in order to salvage anything….
I’m hopeful that this time around, even if I don’t ‘win’, that I’ll at least produce something a bit more workable. At the very least, I’ll consider this month a win if it gets me writing again. This year I think I am going to take a dramatically different approach and not focus on an overarching novella plot, rather take a decidedly “Joyce-ean” approach ala “Dubliners” and work on vignettes, or simply short stories to string together with a larger concept later on.
I found, after 2007’s attempt, that I don’t do well with larger fiction works. That single lesson is what will be driving this year’s attempt. Not to say it will be non-fiction, but rather I will only be working with short pieces and will see how, or even if, they can be strung together into a novella of sorts during the editing period in December and beyond. For now, however, the focus is JUST on producing the words not ensuring the quality.
Are you participating too? If so, add me as a buddy on the site so we can keep each other honest and motivated 🙂 Of course, I’ll also likely be blogging here about it too, as I learned I tend to blog more when I am busy writing already. Sometimes writing for different purposes helps drive the creativity even more.
No Time for a real post. But I do have time for this:
50,205 words in the bag.
Yup. I “won”. And by won, they mean I completed 50k+ words in under 30 days to form a fiction novel first rough draft. A VERY rough draft, I’ll admit.
This doesn’t mean I am done working on it, rather it means that now I get to -really- dig into to what I actually wrote and massage it to make this fiction novel readable. I honestly am not even the least bit happy with what I created here, so a LOT of editing is in my future. But what I AM happy with is the fact that I was able to produce 50k+ words in under thirty days and keep them all focused on a basic story line.
I promise you all this: when I have a moment, either over the vacation days ahead or possibly into next week, I WILL post the Title, Synopsis, and Excerpt. **Edited 10-23-2013: I didn’t live up to my promise. It seems that after I went back to edit/review what I’d written, I was still so disgusted with the result that I filed it away and forgot about it. I did try and edit it in 2011 and found my disgust hadn’t decreased, so I refiled it away again. If I’m lucky, I may be able to pull out a short story from it sometime in 2028. **
For now, just revel in my joy that I’m DONE!