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NaNoWriMo: Yeah, I Might Be Crazy

November 3, 2010

Does everyone know what NaNoWriMo is?

Well I found out about it a couple of years ago while I was working in the features department. In the middle of November my editor brought it up in our planning meeting and by the end of the meeting I had been assigned a story. I was supposed to find people in the area who were participating.

It wasn’t very easy to do. I think I tracked down 5 and three had already quit trying by the time I got a hold of them.

So my story on NaNoWriMo wasn’t very good. But I liked the idea: write 50,000 words in one month. That’s about 1,667 words a day. Well I can do that — easily. Catherine and Beth can attest to that for me. Heck, some of you have hung in there and read some of my longer posts (and I sincerely thank you for that) some of those are easily 2,000 words.

The point of NaNoWriMo isn’t to turn out a masterpiece (even though there is some sort of contest associated with it) the point is to do the work. No editing. No elaborate (but never followed-through on) planning. Just write.

So, I put it on my bucket list — and then the next year I completely forgot about it.

I wasn’t going to do it this year either because I have applications looming. But then I remembered something. At least five times during my path toward graduate school someone has said, “the number one thing is to finish what you’re writing.”

I probably remembered the statement because each time I heard it it felt like a punch in the gut. I have started so many projects that I have never finished. I have had so many ideas that I have never taken action on. Perfectionism, procrastination and just plain laziness have gotten in the way.

Of course having a full-time job doesn’t help all that much either.

So, I did it. Last night I signed up for NaNoWriMo and I submitted the first bits of my novel. I kind of cheated because I had already started writing it a few years ago. Over three years ago in fact: “Confessions of a ‘Good’ Girl.” I also threw in a few other posts I’ve written in regard to the topic. So at the moment I am over my word goal.

Of course now is when the rubber hits the road. For me this amount of writing probably represents about 1-2 hours of work. So that’s 1-2 hours a day on average. I might have to quit watching TV for the month. (After I watch Private Practice this week, of course.) In fact, yeah. No TV for me this month. I’m trading it up for my computer.

And by the end of the month my pseudo-memoir about sex and the church girl should be all fleshy and real. I’m excited. And kind of freaked out.

P.S. This means my blog posts will probably be shorter for the next month. But I promise to still be adorable and controversial. You know, me. If you’re good I might even post some of my pages for my emerging novel.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2010 12:14 pm

    You’re doing it??? Great, Crystal! I’m proud of you. I know a few other bloggers who have taken this on, and now I know to check back regularly to cheer you on.

    You can do it. You’ll be great. Hope to read the finished product!


    • November 3, 2010 12:29 pm

      So far it is really bad. The not editing as I go will be the most difficult part — I’m certain of it! And I’m sure I’ll post parts of it along the way.


  2. November 3, 2010 2:53 pm

    Good luck! I did nanowrimo last year. It involved a lot of hard work and dedication, but it was fun. I’m currently editing my novel from last year.


    • November 3, 2010 3:14 pm

      Congrats! It sure is a big task! I think I’ll probably wind up doing most of my writing on the weekends — despite my desire to write daily. I only got out about 300 words today.


  3. November 4, 2010 12:53 am

    Excellent – I’ve already pretty much given up with TV to kick around webdesign projects, and to keep up with my blog, and the blogroll from hell…


  4. Jacqui permalink
    November 4, 2010 5:54 am

    This reminds me of when I was reading Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” in which she encouraged everyone to do “Morning Pages”… write without editing or thinking about how it sounds every morning, the moment you awaken. Not sure how many words she encouraged, but I remember her saying it must be three pages or more. Some days I wrote half a page of “I don’t know what to write” before I actually had something. What I do remember, is that I did some of my best writing this way! Good for You, Crystal! NaNoWriMo!


    • November 4, 2010 8:18 am

      I definitely write every day (at least 3 pages) — but not always with a purpose. Needing to have an a specific purpose is kind of kicking my butt. And I think it will be the thing that helps me actually accomplish something through this exercise.


  5. November 4, 2010 12:30 pm

    I successfully did NaNo one year! It was awesome, an amazing experience. I even bought a t-shirt! And then I tried it the next year. And failed miserably at 20 000 words. Apparently a lot of people have such an experience: they have unrealistic memories of the first time they do it and expect the second time to be even easier. Ha!

    Then again, I know a couple people who do it every year, without fail.

    I probably won’t try again. What I need is a NaNoWriYe (which, I believe, does actually exist. As does NaNoEdMo, NaNoBloMo, NaNoSewMo, etc. etc.).

    Good luck! It’s fun and crazy and horrible and awesome all at the same time.


  6. SocialAnswers permalink
    November 4, 2010 12:58 pm

    Good luck doing it- I’ve only been introduced to it last year- had no idea it even existed. But I’m so very proud of everyone who’s decided to go for it. it shows discipline, determination and courage.


  7. November 5, 2010 8:09 am

    Good luck!!! I’ve never heard of this, but added it to my bucket list for next year 🙂


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