Sunday, 8 November 2009

'No' to NaNoWriMo

Two years ago I failed, somewhat miserably, at finishing a novel of 50,000 words in the month of November - aka NaNoWriMo. I didn't take part again in 2008 and again this year I'm stearing clear but my experience, back in 2007, was a good one of self-discovery. I still have the 10,000 or so words in a number of notebooks and even have an idea for a new novel which would suit the NaNoWriMo but not for this year.

The blogger that lead me to be involved in the NaNoWriMo experience was Yeager from Soul Kerfuffle, who doesn't look to be involved this year. A blogger who has become fairly infrequent with his posts but to my history of blogging and motivation he's invaluable. My personal thanks to you, Dave.

A number of my fellow bloggers that are attempting to put aside their procrastination and are actively involved in this years NaNoWriMo are listed below - I congratulate them all for their bravery:

"If any of you reading this have danced around the idea of NaNoWriMo or generally around the idea of trying to write something, but have managed to slither out of it through a combination of apathy, procrastination and terror, then maybe my experiences can be of some help. I’m not trying to bully or cajole anyone into NaNo — for me, it’s helpful to have a deadline and a public commitment, but that’s all it is."
"Just for fun I thought I would be fun to take a screenshot of my novel written on my iPhone everyday. That and it is easy way to keep my blog active. So, check out today’s snapshot."
"I’ve done NaNoWriMo once before, in 2006. I spent every morning before work diligently typing away, and had one crazy weekend where I wrote 20,000 words over the space of two days, and ended up finishing around November 20th. The finished novel, tentatively titled “Reality”, then sat on my computer for years. Every so often I’d open up the Word file and cringe at how awful it was, have a go at editing a chapter or two into something resembling a real novel, and then give up again, but mostly it just sat around being ignored. I kept thinking that I really should do something with it, because it was a really really awesome idea – zombies in the Big Brother house! – and then Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set happened, and I finally acknowledged to myself that I never would work Reality up into a publishable novel and it would be forever consigned to the dusty recesses of my hard drive."
Good luck guys!


  1. I did NaNo twice and have mixed feelings about the experience. The first year it was good fun, the second year it was a misery and it turned me off fiction writing, apparently for good.

    NaNo to me felt like a data point. Accomplishing it was good for saying "I did this" but it didn't make me a better writer.

    It's probably a good 'initiative' for people to get started writing fiction, or even for people who dabble full time (assuming you take your NaNo novel then enhance and polish it after Dec 1). But, IMO, if the only fiction writing you do in a year is during NaNo, you're just wasting your time. Nothing will come of it. Aside from doing it once just to say "Ha, I can pound out 50K words in a month."

  2. Be curious to know how many people that take part in NaNo' don't do any writing elsewhere in the year...

    To use the experience as a 'stream of conciousness' could be a valid for your writing, as you could pick and pull, cut and paste from the resulting 50k word-bomb.

  3. I can't do it, because I NEVER PLAN writing, so I think mine would end up as a stream of consciousness ramble.

  4. @arbitrary That doesn't stop some authors, just look at William S.Borroughs - made a living from cut-up book writing.

  5. Yes, but you have to be REALLY good or kill your wife via drug activities to get away with it ;p