Knuckling Down To NaNo Again

Posted on 29th October, 2016

Well, it's the end of October and all over the world, writers are preparing for the annual NaNoWriMo madness. 50,000 words in a month - it's a huge undertaking. I remember how, in October 2011, I agonised over whether to sign up. Could I really commit myself to that? Eventually I did sign up - and promptly went into panic-mode. What had I let myself in for?


That November 1st was spent at work. Then I came home and wrote 1,400 words, which on any other day would have been a splendid acheivement, but in NaNo terms, you need a daily average of 1,667, so I had already dropped behind.


I wrote every day. On days I wasn't at work, I tried to write 2,000 words - and usually succeeded - but I never caught up; and I watched as my personal word count target graph parted company further and further with my actual word count. But you what know? It didn't matter. I wrote every day; I felt great; I loved it; and while my final word count of 32,000 was never going to set a NaNo pond on fire, I was ridiculously pleased with myself for having averaged over 1,000 words per day.


I've now done NaNo five times and I've also taken part in Camp NaNo five times - though, for me, November NaNo will always be the real thing, because the November word count target isn't negotiable, whereas you can set your own target in Camp.


This year, however, I thought I'd give it a rest. I've recently finished writing a new draft of my novel, as required by my agent, and that was hard work. All I seemed to do was go to work at the day job, then come home and write. I live just five minutes walk away from the sea, but I didn't see the big blue stuff for over a month. After that, the thought of knuckling down to NaNo didn't appeal.


So: no NaNo this year.


Except that... other people are doing it, my friend Jan Baynham for one. She wasn't intending to either, but somehow she couldn't resist having another go. Her's her blog about getting ready for NaNo 2016. Jan was the one who started me wondering... and before I knew it, I was hooked.


Unlike Jan, who has done lots of preparation, I will be one of the writers winging it with a few ideas and the kind of adrenaline that only participation in NaNo produces. Will I get to 50,000 words? Well, I never have so far. On the other hand, writing that new draft for my agent showed me just how much I can get done when the rest of my life is put on hold. Hmm.


Wish me luck.



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Comments (7)

Thank you, Jen. The NaNo discipline is indeed wonderful. It's also exhilarating.
Good luck, Susanna. I've never done NaNo as life and the day job always interfered. Now that writing is my day job, I have deadlines for contracted work and am not at the point of starting something new. I think the idea of NaNo is great, though, as that discipline of daily writing is key.

Looking forward to hearing how you get on. xx
Thanks for your support, Sue. :-)
I'm sure all your careful planning will pay off once you get started, Jan. Lovely to hear from you, and the very best of luck with this year's NaNo novel. I'll be cheering you on as you make it two years in a row for achieving the 50,000 words!
A great post, Sue. Thank you for the mention and link to my blog. I agree that it's the feeling of having written every day that you can is more important than the final word count. I may have done more planning than for novel number 1 but I'm still dithering about how the story will work out. Novel 1 was much clearer in my head so I'm not sure how successful NaNo 2016 will be! Sending you loads of luck 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀 and I look forward to being your NaNo buddy again. 🙂
I know how you dislike NaNo, Wendy. I remember your blog about it. Thanks for your good wishes - I'll need them!
The very best of luck to you, Susan. NaNo is like marmite - you either love it or hate it and I'm in the latter category! It's definitely not for me.