Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

Do you NaNoWriMo?

In writing on October 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm

I do!

Well, actually, this is the first year I’m attempting it. I’ve always been too afraid. (Now there’s an honest thing about me I left out of my “honesty” post a few columns over that way —> I’m afraid of NaNoWriMo* because it will force me to write in a continual, forward motion. For someone with revisionitis, that can be a scary thing. A scary thing, indeed.)

But I’m facing my fears and doing it this year. I’ve even got the badge to prove it:

I am an official participant!

Gah! 50,000 words! In 30 days! What am I? Nuts?

Breathe …

I’m okay.

I’ve currently got about 5 different ideas in my head, all elbowing each other out of the way; each trying to make its debut in my 2010 NaNoWriMo document. I’ve got 11 days before I have to play favorites. The quietest one will probably win. That’s how I usually handled my students when they were all vying to be first in line. The rowdies in my head aren’t behaving much differently.

The thing with NaNoWriMo is you either win, or … you don’t.

Well, as far as word count goes, anyway. You hit the 50,000 word mark by Nov. 30 and DING! DING! DING! You’re a winner! You don’t hit the 50,000 word mark by Nov. 30 and, well, you know. No bells or stickers for you.

But as far as I’m concerned, (here’s the teacher in me coming out again) as long as you’ve got a good chunk of words come Nov. 30 that you can shape into a novel at some point in time, you’re still a winner. As long as you’ve done your best.

I just really want the bells and stickers, that’s all.

So, here’s to NaNoWriMo! And to my sanity! Cheers!

*NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month

  1. I LOVE the image of the ideas in your heads being the Me! Me! kids in the classroom. I’m like you, I totally ignored those kids and gave the privilege to the one who wasn’t bugging me. And this was just me as parent-helper/control-freak, never a teacher!

    I think getting over the fear of it is probably one of the best reasons I’ve heard to do NaNo. And I’m with you on what it means to win. Good luck and HAVE FUN.

    • Yeah, it’s totally the fear thing for me. That, and I need some kind of deadline to be imposed on me. I work best that way and figure I might have a pretty good chance of finishing something (or coming pretty darn close to it) if I know people are going to be asking me about it.

  2. This will be my 5th year doing NaNoWriMo, all wins. Only the second year was “easy” in that the story flowed and I had a good amount of time to do the writing… All of the other years were mired with poor ideas or long work weeks (100+hour weeks are routine)

    THis year, I’m borderline terrified of it because not only do I not feel like I have time but also I have no ideas whatsoever. I guess that’s not completely true… I have ideas, just none that I feel I can focus on for a month.

    But I’ll get through it. And I’ll win… because I’m stubborn like that.

    And you’ll win, too. not because you’re stubborn, but because you have the right attitude — the REAL winner’s prize is the pile of words and ideas and story lines you end up with at the end of the month. The certificates and all the rest of it are just a bonus.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks, Rob! (100 hour work weeks?? Sheesh. I don’t think I could do it! You certainly are determined.) We’ll see how it goes for me. I’ll try my best. 🙂

      • Keep in mind, on top of the 100 hour weeks… my wife and kids also do this. My kids are now 8 and 12 and better able to do it on their own… but the first couple of years I was helping them a lot!

        I’m also a moderator on three forums on the main site and two on the YWP site. And this year, just for fun, I’m starting my own company… so 100 hour weeks would be like a vacation now.

        Just remember: You’re not alone in this — use your writing friends to help you, especially on the days when you feel like this was a huge mistake. Trust me when I say it is not a mistake!

      • Whoa. Well, if you, of all people, can say it’s not a mistake to join, then I’ve got to take your word for it. I’ve got lots of CW buddies now, too. So it’s all good 🙂

  3. This will be my second year of Nano. Foolhardy perhaps, what with having a five month old baby in the house, but hey. Be sure to add me to your buddies on the Nano site. You’ll probably surprise yourself and really race through it. It’s a great feeling hitting that word count by the last day of November.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Claudia Osmond, Mahtab Narsimhan. Mahtab Narsimhan said: RT @claudiaosmond: Do you NaNoWriMo?: […]

  5. I wonder why I’ve seen your blog before. It’s gorgeous, nice and simple.

    I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year too. Won last year which was a blast.

    It’s gonna be fun! What’s your username?

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