Nano: The Good, The Bad, and The Count


Nanowrimo: noun; (National Novel Writing Month) The month of November where people decide to write a total of 50,000 words on a new or current writing project of their choice.   Ex: “What’s with all the coffee?” “Nanowrimo”

Ahh, Nano. A time when people can not only write to their little hearts content, but also stay up to ungodly hours of the night and have a good excuse for it. Well, my fellow writers/readers, November is approaching and the word count is starting to stare us down.

I wanted to take this time to talk a little bit about my experiences with Nanowrimo, as well as Camp Nanowrimo, and what I tend to do for prep and go time:

So, I have yet to win a Nano. Now, you might be thinking, “Why in God’s name would I want to listen to advice about Nanowrimo  from someone who has never even accomplished her goal before?!” Well I would have to respond as I do with relationship advice, “Just because I have never had one, doesn’t mean I don’t know how to screw it up” (yes, I know terrible grammar, you could never have a Nano, but you catch my drift). I might not have won it (yet) but that just means I know everything you SHOULDN’T do!

One of these follies is procrastination. I have a really bad tendency to put things off ’till the last minute, but I’ll tell you about that later (hehe, see what I did there?). But, in all seriousness, I like to trick my brain into thinking I can “just write the thousand words that I missed today tomorrow!” and it is so wrong.

Another problem is the overarching reason for creating Nanowriomo. Quantity over Quality. I absolutely hate going back in my writing and reading it and not being able to change or edit anything without losing words and wasting time. I am a perfectionist in this sense and it will inevitably be the death of me.

But, despite all of the pain and suffering of seeing that horrible draft where you used the wrong version of there/their/they’re, I love to prep. I love making a little journal with all my characters names and the index cards of plot and, most of all, I love writing. I love sitting down at 11:30 at night and trying to crank out my words for the day. I love the stories I can create and the characters I get to live through. So, with your permission, I would like to create a little mini series all about Nanowrimo, explaining everything you need to know about it and what has helped me stay motivated, even in the days when I don’t finish.

So, it’s October, ladies and gentlemen. Make your Halloween costumes and stash away your candy. You’re gonna need it.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…the man who never reads only lives one.” -George R.R. Martin,  A Dance With Dragons




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