Nano is No Mo

For those of you out there who participated in Nanowrimo (write a novel in 30 days – well not really, because 50,000 isn’t long enough for a novel) I guess it’s come to an end. It has for me. In fact, it ended about week two for me. Which was disappointing in a way and yet freeing in another.

You see, I found I really couldn’t just write on command. Which is not to say that I can’t write or am even going through any kind of block right now – actually, I’m not. But I found that I couldn’t just blindly write down words just for the sake of the word count. The story I’m working on actually matters to me. It’s an idea I’ve had for a long time and characters I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and getting to know and I found I simply couldn’t sacrifice the time they and it needed to breathe, so I could do right by them.

So after two weeks, I said, ‘screw it.’ This isn’t the way I want to write my novel. I want to spend time with it. I want to go at it like gangbusters today and tomorrow think about it – maybe tinker, maybe do some research for a locale or find the write music to inspire me. I want my process to stay organic, which has always been for me. I don’t really write outlines and deep character profiles and long winded synopsises, I live the story, so to speak and write down what happened.

The writing at breakneck speed, not stopping to look, or reread, even for typos – to find the better word because I didn’t have time to do it the day before because the ideas were so fast I could barely get it down as it was, the crunching the numbers for the sake of numbers just don’t fly for me.

Know what I mean?

I think it’s a great idea – and probably does help some writers – makes them rise to the challenge or makes them accountable for their stated goal of writing a novel. But I actually have written one – I didn’t need to prove that to myself and when I realized that, I realized I didn’t have to do it.

I hope everybody who was involved enjoyed themselves and got something out of it. I did get something out of it but not what I expected. Congrats to whomever the winner is.


14 thoughts on “Nano is No Mo

  1. There’s supposed to be a winner? Just kidding. I am in total agreement with you on this WC. This might be a great tool to use to get motivated or inspired but most novels are written more the way you described the way you wanted to write yours. Yes, some are written under deadlines, but a month is not realistic. That’s why Hannah and I came up with the Live Poet’s Society thing but I think we’ll be changing the name to the OhNoMiJo (that’s the β€œOh No, I’m not doing the nanowrimo, just this Miniature Job).

    Now that you mention it…I dunno. Maybe.

    I love ohNoMiJo – but it makes me think of ‘oh not my job’ πŸ˜† Which seems to work with your concept anyway. πŸ˜‰


  2. I am reminded of quote “To thine own self be true” or something like that! πŸ™‚ I’ve been feeling a need for defragmenting my brain!

    I cannot imagine the pressure of writing a novel in 30 days. I am sure some can and do, not being a writer, I would still think with the creativity, inspiration and imagination required the pressure of such a time limit would indeed limit the above qualities.

    Dunno, girlfriend, just saying..:) love your pics !

    You know, there are all kinds of books like this and websites too. And I’m sure it’s doable but I think in most cases, the end product is going to come out contrived and if one hopes to actually publish the novel, there will be a lot of editing and rewriting to do. Some writers are so brilliant they could knock out a great novel in 30 days but I think most of us require much more time. Besides, even a short novel comes in at about 65,000 words, so you really won’t have a novel in 30 days anyway.


  3. I like OhNoMiJo! That’s great! I like the Nanowrimo concept but not for me right now. I’ve read some ‘how to write’ books (Stephen Kings was awesome and really enjoyed Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird) and the theme always ends up ‘do what is right for YOU’.

    Oh, and if you need anyone to do research for you for your novel, let me know – that sounds fun to me!

    Hey CC,
    Well…I write murder mysteries – how serious are you are about being…ah…er…doing research for me. muwhahahahahaha. πŸ‘Ώ


  4. i didn’t finish this year.
    i was into it at first but then it wasn’t fun.

    The strangest part was that i was so okay with stopping. Regardless, i am a writer. And that’s all that matters.

    Curious C,
    King’s ‘On Writing’ is a great book.

    Well of course you’re a writer, girl – we all know that. I had the same thing – it stopped being fun. I mean if I’m going to suffer anyway, I might as well do it the way I always do it. Right? πŸ˜‰


  5. πŸ™‚ Ditto…to everything you just said.

    Well, except that I haven’t actually written a novel yet.

    One of the things that Nano has shown me the last 3 years – I don’t do fiction! LOL I do non-fiction.

    Finding one’s nitch is important. If that’s all I’ve gained from this year, I think that’s a good place to be because come the New Year, I’ll be starting my book. In my time. In my way. At my pace πŸ™‚

    ((( Annie )))

    Really? You no fiction writer? Is that like menoficwri? πŸ˜‰ I really could see you writing fiction, easily. But if it’s non fiction you like then for sure, go for it. What will your book be about? May I ask?


  6. Commiserations, WC, but I think it’s great that you tried anyway. It sounds like it reaffirmed that you know writing organically is the best fit for you, and also that the details are important. I think the concept is great for people who haven’t written a novel before – you can learn a lot by writing quickly -, but it’s very easy to lose track of the small things in the story if you’re just writing frantically. And to me it’s the small things that make the novel.

    I know my pace and it’s nowhere near a novel in thirty days; I’m lucky if I’d get a short story done in that time. But I think it’s a great experiment and it’ll be interesting is to see how many people get their work published. In some ways it might not be that different to what Philip K. Dick and other pulp writers used to do – although instead of using speed, everyone’s high on caffeine. πŸ™‚

    Hey CJ!
    No commiserations necessary. It was a fun thing to try and I got a lot done but yeah, it’s just not my style to write that way. And you’re right, it’s the small things, the details that make a book. Gone are the days of pulp ficition or maybe now they are the graphic novels? I dunno.


  7. I tried. And I failed. I started it, and at first it seemed like a great idea .. but just the thought of 30 days .. 30 days, the two numbers took the fun out of it for me. I stopped writing, and what I do have is still waiting for me to finish, though not right now.
    I do wish you luck with your novel that youve written, Im sure it’s a great read. .. everything else you write comes out smashingly wonderful!

    Aw thanks, Sweet Pea.
    Hey, at least you started it. Now you have something to go back to when you’ve got the time and space. I do think it’s a good tool for motivation, which is probably really the point of it anyway. What is yours about?


  8. I’ve never gone in for these writing comps, and the few times I’ve been forced to write, I didn’t enjoy it. I just do when I want – which is, admittedly, most days.
    But Annie, a complaint – 50,000 words not enough to be a novel? You’ve just wiped out all of mine 😦
    Oh well, my fault for only being 5ft 4in tall – a short novel writer πŸ™‚

    Hey Tony,
    Sorry chum, I didn’t mean to burst any bubbles – and I don’t make the rules. Based on my research, the standard length for a novel is 65,000 – 120,000 words. Although, that may just be American publishing standards? πŸ˜‰


  9. I agree and understand.
    Writing is never about word count and if it is then you’re veering down the wrong goddamned road.
    I do believe that the bottom line is that we must write in some way, shape or form.
    Douglas Adams said it best, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they rush by.”
    Good writing can’t be planned.
    It just kinda happens. Or not.

    LOL Mikey,
    I love that quote – I must write that down. πŸ˜‰

    I don’t know if you can or can’t plan writing – some writers do and are very successful with that approach – I sort of do, but not in a real organized way. To me, it’s like growing a garden – you get an idea of what you want to plant – you see what’s available and then you start putting seeds in the soil – eventually something grows. You may not always end up with what you thought you would but then, often the surprises are the best part.


  10. I’m with ~m and hm, it looks like most of everyone here agrees about the deadlines – they’re deadly for most probably. I have heard the concept and thought that sure wouldn’t be anything I’d be interested in doing.

    When I commit to do something, I’m pretty much do it or die trying and taking on something like that would be likely to kill me or kill something inside me.

    I do hope the work on your book is moving and you’re continuing to feel good about it.

    Peace, love and understanding.

    ~ RS ~

    Hey Roobs,
    I guess we all have our process. Which in the long run isn’t that important. I think it’s only important that we get where we’re going, right?
    Love ya,


  11. Hey Annie! Good to see you’re still exploring and being true to you! πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t be able to do that sort of writing I’m quite sure of that! (Maybe it’d do me some good!)
    Congrats on leaving your job and tending to your gorgeous heart. Love ya!

    Simonne my love! How are you? Are you all married and deleriously happy now? I bet you were a beautiful bride. I want to see pictures! I must come over to your place and catch up. Now that I have some time and breathing room. I’m starting to exhale now – it feels good.


  12. You probably got farther than I ever would have. I can’t finish a damn thing. Wait a sec, I just glanced up at Simmone’s comment, you left your job?
    I’m so out of touch due to the whole slacker blogger thing.
    Ok leaving to read.

    Oh I don’t know about that – apparently there are people who do get there. I just don’t think I’d have anything I wanted if I went that far with it. But maybe I’m wrong.

    Oh yeah, left the job. It’s all good.


  13. Hey Annie, there are wedding pics on my blog so have a peep when you have time πŸ™‚
    Of course I’m deliriously happy! πŸ™‚

    Hey Simonne!
    I just looked. Wow, you’re gorgeous! What a beautiful bride you are. Much happiness and love, my dear – you deserve it.


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