My Last NaNoWriMo?

I know that others are surviving in a land of ice and snow.  Meanwhile, I’m outside taking pictures of hummingbirds.  They make the most charming, tiny little chirps.  They sip from our lavender.  Beautiful beasts.

NaNoWriMo is over, and it was my fourth one.  I also wonder if it will be my last.  My gosh, NaNo felt like so much pressure this year!  I started late due to taking my daughter to neurologists.  We’re making decisions about my son’s schooling that could affect…well, everything.  Throw in Thanksgiving, a week-long family trip, and things having to do with the novel that I’m shopping around, and boy howdy, people, when am I going to find time to write a brand new novel?! 

Well, I did, but that’s only because I hate to lose.  My 50,000 words were more rushed and less quality than I would have liked, but I did it.  Now I’m asking myself, was it really worth it?  NaNoWriMo, although fantastic, seems to be more geared to people who need a kick start when it comes to novel writing.  I doubt that I would have written my first novel without the comradery that I felt with NaNo.  I needed the rush. I needed the discipline.  I needed somebody to say that it’s all right to screw up, and set me running down the noveling path.  But now? I write every day.  I’m constantly working on something throughout the year. NaNo wasn’t a rush as much as an obligation.  In a way, this makes me happy because I don’t need somebody to hold my hand anymore.  And that rocks.

Still, I totally dig the social aspect.  I hooked up with a lot of people because of NaNo, and that is just very cool.  Maybe next year my Real Life won’t be as crazy and the fun will return.  But if it isn’t going to be fun, then I won’t be doing it.  Things are tough enough without adding to the pressure, don’t you think?

So who did NaNo and who took a break this year?  Would you NaNo again?

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18 thoughts on “My Last NaNoWriMo?

  1. I dunno…my hat is off to those who can (and have) done it, but NoNo has never really gotten my juices flowing. It just makes me think about all of the things I’m not doing, like working on my existing WIP and knocking out a few short stories and maybe some bad poetry. I could probably use the raw speed-exercise, though.

  2. As I started on Nano this year, I wondered if it was worth it. I have a daily writing habit now and I’ve been producing good stuff. How exactly was writing 1667 words of crap a day going to help me? I kind of felt like that all the way through, but today I pulled out the old WIP and realized that it DID help me. Somehow, that month of intense work on something new brought the old WIP into better focus for me. I don’t think just taking a month off would have done the same thing. So yeah, I think I’d do it again. I’m not getting the same benefit from it that I used to, but I’m still getting a benefit.

  3. This year was my first. I write regularly, but mostly short stories and Flash pieces. It was good to find out that I am capable of something more than 5000 words, but…trying to pack it all into one month kinda sucks. I missed my life.

  4. This was my third year attempting NaNo and the first time I didn’t cross the finish line. I knew from the beginning that I had set myself up with a difficult task and although I got 60% of the way there, I still feel a little down that I didn’t finish.

    I do think it’s a great thing to tackle – but like Jenn I would love to keep up a daily writing habit year-round and not just in November 🙂

  5. I intend to do my first NaNo next year (2010) so you have to do it again at least once more – I’ll need all the support I can get.

    Couldn’t do it this year due to the antho, but I’m not doing it next year because I need a push.

    I’m booking a month off and seeing if I can ‘work’ as a writer, 9-5 (or maybe 9-2:30). I’m going to write another book in my current YA series, but rather than a few months of scraping time together after work and life, I’m going to hit it hard all day, every day. This will also include research, tangents, brainstorming, rewrites and revisions. My YA manuscripts end up at around the 50-60K mark after a revision or two, so doing all that inside a month will be an interesting exercise.

    If it works, I can book a month off here and there without it having to be November, but doing it first with a sense of community won’t be a bad thing…I hope.

  6. You know I love Nano, but I also am feeling the pull of taking a year off, however, since I will be “running” the Vegas group again next year (I don’t think we have anyone willing or able to step up,) I will probably do it again next year, and the year after that, and after that…. UGH I do understand how the shininess of Nano can be rubbed off to the point, it’s no longer pretty and feels like work. This year felt that way for me, but I am grateful to the friends I have met (like you) because of Nano and I am grateful to see the smiling faces of first time writers hitting there goal. Plus if doing Nano next year gets me out of going to Cali for Thanksgiving, I would do it again with no questions asked.

  7. Jeremy- When it’s time to work on my novel, suddenly the bathtub needs scrubbing. Or it’s time to organize my financial info. Or ANYTHING!

    Jenn, that’s a great way to look at it. I do have 50,000 words more than I had before. Maybe not the benefit that I had when I started, but still a benefit. Hmm.

    And now our lives can start again, Trev! Yay!

    Mary, I admire you doing it even though you knew it would be tough. Writers ain’t no featherweights.

    BT, you just rock every way that it’s possible to rock. I’d do it again to keep you company. And you’re right in that the sense of community really is galvanizing.

    Laura, you know I’d be happy to help. 🙂

  8. I’m out for good. NaNo works for some, but like you stated, you have discipline. I guess I do, too.

    I do think novels need to be written in “Charge!” mode. (as in down the hill with sabers drawn, not credit cards) NaNo helps find that spirit. Charge mode helps it all stick together, helps you find the twists and turns as they come and make sure it all makes sense in the end.

    What doesn’t make sense is the pressure I put on myself the one year I did NaNo. Too much. So, yeah, it works for some. I didn’t miss it this year.

  9. You’re right on with your assessment of that, Mercedes. NaNo is for folks like me who need a kick in the pants, or an imposed deadline, to do the writing. At some point, I suppose, you outgrow it and move on. Me? I’ll probably need another kick in the pants next November. Congrats on finishing. That was phenomenal, considering the slow start you had.

  10. I’ve never done Nano. I gave it a half ass attempt last year, but quit after three days. This year I ALMOST did it, but backed out at the last minute to concentrate on another big project. Next year I want to do it, so like BT said, you have to do it at least one more year. I need people to do it with! Er…that sounded kinda wrong…

  11. Like you, I do it to meet other local writers. It’s my fourth year, and I haven’t “won” yet, but I have written four novels in months that don’t start with the letter ‘N’.

    November is usually a revision month for me.

  12. Oddly enough, I blogged those sentiments not so long back. It’s why I doubt nano will ever be for me…

    Still, whatever floats the boat, and if it works for some then hats off to them…

  13. I completed NaNo last year and at first, I was really disappointed to me missing out this year. But seeing all the stress and pressure everyone was needlessly putting on themselves over the Nov 30th deadline, I realised, I was happier out of it.

  14. This was my second year. Last year I was a winner, but this year I only made it a little over half way. Still, I feel good about the work I did, and I learned a lot about my writing process.

    But, next year? I’m not sure. If I can make something come of this year’s first draft, then maybe….

  15. Its snowing on your blog. Its SNOWING on your blog! And its freakin me out!

    No more NaNos? What if I… CHALLENGE you next year?

    Mwuh ha ha!

    Just kidding. I’ve never done a NaNo. Never made sense for me as a writer. November is incredibly busy, so I always saw it as setting myself up for disappointment.

  16. Pingback: The Pros and Cons of NaNoWriMo « A Broken Laptop

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