True Life: I'm Doing NaNoWriMo... and I'm Scared

The title says it all: in less than one month, I will be doing NaNoWriMo for the first time in four years.

That's right. For some strange reason, I have not tried to write 50,000 words in 30 days since I "won" back in 2009!

  • November 2009: My first NaNoWriMo. I finished RICE FLOWER MEMOIRS.

  • November 2010: I was busy with a new job and with writing PPP. I had gotten agent interest earlier that year from my blog, and wanted to finish the book so I could submit.

  • November 2011: I was working on a revise-and-resubmit request for PPP, and had also just started planning/researching FOTL.

  • August 2012: I knew November would be a busy month, so I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo. It helped me write the first 35,000 words of ELEGY!

And now, here I am. It's early October. PPP is being queried. ELEGY is about to be, as well. And I'm twiddling my thumbs, unable to come up with an excuse not to do NaNo.

I have so many projects to work on. ANCHOR ISLAND and GARDENSPELL both have several chapters written, and then there's FOTL, still waiting in the wings, and SEAWALL, of which I have written exactly three and a half scenes.

That's why I felt guilty about pushing them all aside for this brand-new story, an idea that hit me earlier this year and is fresh and exciting and new. But it's calling my name and I can't ignore it, and I have to ride the wave of inspiration while it lasts. There's a good chance this story could be finished in November (or at least the majority of it will be written), and it's just too attractive an opportunity to pass up.

I'm not going to share too much about it at this time, besides what is already on my NaNoWriMo page (click here) and my Pinterest board (click here), but suffice it to say that I am REALLY excited!

My schedule can be crazy, so I won't kill myself trying to get to 50K. I think 25K is a good number and I'm sure I can beat it. The pressure is scary (even though it's just coming from myself), but I know that it will help me write and I can't pass up the chance to maybe get another book done this year!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Have you done it before and has it helped you?


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've done and won NaNo a number of times but I skipped last year and did Camp NaNo instead. I'm planning on doing NaNo this year, but I'm still playing with ideas.

I think setting your own goal and trying to beat it is a great idea - you know how your month is going to shake out and you're planning accordingly. As much as any of us can plan anything. :)

LD Masterson said...

I've never attempted NaNo - partly because I haven't felt up to the challenge but mostly because it's November. As in, the month before Christmas. I'm totally into Christmas and just can't give up that much of my Christmas prep time. But I wish you luck. Go for it.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Good for you for doing NanoWrimo before, and good for you for doing it again! Good luck! I wish I could do it, but November is a busy month for me during the school year. And technically I'm already working on another "book": my dissertation. It's not fun to write THAT one, though.

Laura Marcella said...

I'll be right beside you writing my novel, too! I love NaNo because thousands of other writers are attempting the same thing at the same time. It makes writing feel like a big party!

I did Camp NaNo for my first time this past August and reached 30,000 words on that novel. I think I'll definitely participate in the Camp challenge again next year, too. It's good motivation to get those words written when you feel accountable!

Have fun planning your new novel, and I'm looking forward to NaNoing with you!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You can do it! If the inspirations has hit, run with it.
Even if you just miss the mark (I didn't quite hit 50,000 words for BuNo June 2012) you'll still write a good chunk of the story.

1000th.monkey said...

I've veen doing NaNo on and off since 2004, but most years I've only committed to a half-NaNo (so, the same 25k window you're thinking about)

I will probably do it this year as well :)

I'm jadeharpy on the forums!

Connie Keller said...

Congratulations on everything you've gotten done! I'll be cheering for you as you do NaNo.

Tiana Smith said...

I'm not doing it this year - I've already started a project and I'm pretty sure my writing suffers whenever I try to cram that many words in a day (I'm the slow and steady type). But I wish you all the best :)

akossiwaketoglo.com said...

I used to be a huge fan of Nano and still am. However I discovered this year that CampNano was better for my new routine as a mom. So I will be cheering for you in November :).


workofheart09 said...

I've never done NaNo before - the timing just hasn't worked out - and that's probably a good thing, because I'm the kind of person who never sets word count goals when writing. Something about the pressure detracts from my creativity. That said, I AM going to start fleshing out a new project soon, so hopefully I'll be jumping in to its world at the same time y'all are NaNo-ing!

Best of luck with your new book-baby! :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Good luck, Julie!
NaNo is not for me, I'm afraid. I write fast, but not that fast! Plus there's that darn day job! :D

Colin Smith said...

My mum's visiting in November, so I'm not NaNo-ing this year. But I wish you all the very best, Julie. If nothing else, it'll keep your mind off checking email for query responses. ;)

R. T. Freeman said...

I did NaNo last year, but didn't sign up until Nov. 11 and only got 15,000 words done, but it was some of the best writing I've done! And I wrote in Notepad, just wrote and wrote and wrote. It was a terrific experience. This year, I'm READY!

Donna Hole said...

I'm glad you have so many projects in the works though. You'll figure it out Julie; you have too much fun writing to just sit on a decision.

I'll be taking the next couple months off to reacquaint myself with my long lost reading self. I miss reading for fun.

Good luck Dear. You'll be great at NaNo, even if you have no dedicated outline. You have such awesome stories in your head.


J.L. Campbell said...

Well, if it's calling your name, I say go for it. I've gotten several novels out of NaNo so I know how it is when the story seems as if it will flow from your finger tips. Have fun!

Alex Hurst said...

I used Camp NaNo to begin a project this year, but I'm going to use NaNo to really tighten it and get it in better shape (I didn't get to my goal during the camp due to several factors, the biggest being that I hadn't really done enough scaffolding on the basic conflict and plot of the novel and it fell to pieces around 35k. I hope to get the kinks worked out before November and try again.)

The only issue I'll have is that I already hold a full time job, and I have a MASSIVE anthology editing job to do in November too. So I may not get to 50k... but I'll be trying.

Julie Dao said...

Madeline: That's terrific! I hope you pick an idea soon. Mine's all ready to go, but I need to outline before I can start writing if I want to hit the word count goal. I think 25K is most feasible for me, although I really wish I could be more confident about 50K.

L.D.: November is a tough time of year, for sure! Sometimes I wish NaNoWriMo took place in March or April, or something. I'm totally into Christmas, too!

Workaholic: Yeah, totally understandable. November is always a crazy month for people in school! Hope you get some fun writing time in there, too, and good luck on your dissertation.

Laura: So excited to be doing it with you, buddy! I think it's just a really cool concept, and even cooler that thousands and thousands of people are doing the same thing. The Camp NaNo thing definitely helps out, especially because August is typically a less busy month.

Alex: Exactly! I'll still have thousands of words of a novel that weren't written before!

Monkey: Yep, exactly, I'm doing a half-NaNo this year :) Excited to be NaNoing with you!

Connie: Thanks so much! It'll be a lot of fun!

Tiana: Oh yes, it's definitely not for everyone. It's the best way for me to force myself to get wordage out, though... otherwise I just drag my feet forever and ever!

Akoss: I loved Camp NaNo and wish I had done it this summer, but August was a pretty busy month for me. Maybe next year! Glad it helped you out this time around :)

Shari: It's so interesting how many different motivators writers have! I work really well under pressure. I'm the kind of person who isn't the most productive until I have a set schedule or outline for everything, so I always have to have one for noveling! Good luck on your new project!

Colin: Have fun with your mother's visit! :) Yes, this will be a VERY nice distraction from refreshing my inbox over and over and over.

R.T.: Very cool! 15K is a GREAT number. There's something cathartic about just pushing yourself to get words out. Good luck to you!!

Donna: I hope you enjoy your reading! What a smart idea, to take time out to spend with your books :) And in doing so, you'll become an even better writer. Have a nice, much-needed book break <3

J.L.: That is so cool! This will be my third novel to come out of NaNo, so I'm ready! *cracks knuckles*

Alex: I hear you on the full-time job! It's so difficult to squeeze in writing time, but what we get out of it is truly worth it. Sorry about your novel falling apart, and I hope that everything will be smooth sailing for you this time! I cannot write without outlining, and when I tried to earlier this year, my story just fell to pieces. So I'll be prepping, too! Here's to the word count we obtain, no matter what it is!

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