Against My Better Judgement — NaNoWriMo

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Are you participating in NaNoWriMo (Nation Novel Writing Month) this year? I am! And. . . I’m not sure it was a very good plan.

At the end of October, my brother Timothy asked Mom and Andrew (another brother–I know, there are a lot of them) if they were going to do NaNoWriMo this year. After watching all of the challenging going on, I decided to join in too. We check up on each other quite a bit on Twitter, saying ‘Melodrama Effect here: only 800 words written’, or ‘Nearly 2000 words written!’, or ‘Playing with nephews (snif. No fair.) effect: zero words written’.

Trying to write 1600+ words is a rather large challenge. More so when my brain just. . . isn’t. . . working. (Yes, it does this; my brain stalls, and crashes, and then burns.) But it’s a good challenge; rather like our 365 challenge, it’s not over complicated, and yet, it’s difficult to get it in every day. There is no way with my life right now that I’ll get as much as I want to every day. One day I worked all day, and then went straight to drama. I didn’t plan on trying to get any writing done, because I knew it just wasn’t really possible. I got a couple of hundred done in the morning, but I didn’t have time–nor brain, I daresay–to write a full 1600+ chapter, or post, or whatever. And I’m so glad I didn’t stress about it.

But having this goal of 1600+ words a day makes you learn different ways of getting your writing in; bringing your laptop on the forty minute rides to the city, keeping a journal and pens with you to write when you have some time waiting for family at the movies. . . and personally, I like listening to audiobooks when I’m driving or weeding or cleaning, fun mindless tasks like that, so that there is (still) more literature in my head. And when I’m writing more and more like this, I pay more attention to the storyline, the characters– the different elements.

NaNoWriMoing has made me continue working on a project I started thinking about, oh, about a year ago now. I worked at it occasionally, sporadically, but not very much. I think now, on the ninth day of the challenge, I’ve finished it!

JournalSharpieandSocks

Well. . . I finished writing the end chapter. That’s the fun part, right? Now I just need to do the middle chapters, as I already had the beginning (rough draft) done. My plan for this project has been to have the rough draft done before we went to New Zealand again this winter, then when I come back, I’ll be looking at it with fresh eyes.

I don’t think I could have done that if I hadn’t of joined up doing NaNoWriMo. I was too busy doing other things; I didn’t have a set word count or deadline or anything for every day, so I always thought, I’ll write on it tomorrow.

Big. Mitsake. (And for those of you who are watching for typos, yes, that was on purpose.)

Tomorrow always comes, and then what happens? There’s another tomorrow.

So far, I have about 12,000 words written. For me, that’s a crazy amount! I tend to do this: Write a little here, check that name, wait, what was that? go back and read another part, write a little more, remember a blog post that needs to be finished, write a little more there, run out of time.

Yeah. . .

It doesn’t exactly help that I have a kitten helping me to be distracted, either. She’s been laying on my lap purring this whole time, and now she’s waking up a bit more. . . she loves to climb onto the keyboard and write for herself, or clamber up my arm and start weaving her way around my shoulders, in front of my face. . . “see my pretty tail, mom? Do you want to smell it? Here! See it? See it? Why do you keep staring at that big thing? And what’s making that funny clicking sounds? Can I try, mom? Mom? Oh! Look! Fingers–I must kill them! Why’d they stop moving mom? I was going to hunt them, like a fierce jungle kitty! I am a lion. No-no! A tiger. I am a Fierce Jungle Kitty! I am Goldberry; here me roar! Oh, look! A fly; I will catch it!”

Goldberry!

. . . We talk our animals around here. And we name everything. And our refrigerator talks to us. His name is Steve. That’s right: back away slowly.

But we’re a family of writers and creators. . . we’re supposed to be crazy, right?

Back to NaNoWriMo. I don’t really know what my brudders are working on, though I do know Mum’s project (it’s hard not to know when you live in the same house, and drive so that the other can write, and, you know, helped come up with the idea). And they don’t really know what I’m working on either (save Mum) (#nevertoomuchJaneAusten, Mum). I’m liking this arrangement–it means that by the end, if there’s a book or somesuch at the end of this, it’ll be a surprise. So no, you’re not finding out what I’m working on. . . not yet. (*evil laugh*) (Come on, I’ve got to use my evil laugh here since I’m not evil in the melodrama this year.)

So, are you NaNoWriMoing?

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One comment on “Against My Better Judgement — NaNoWriMo

  1. I’ve tried NaNoWriMo a few times, but never got more than halfway done. It’s funny, because I write every day on my blog or somewhere. Sitting and writing on an ongoing story though, my brain just melts. Sounds like you’re doing great! Good luck!
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