Monday, October 17, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

Okay, peeps. Do you have your writing goggles ready and your pens in hand? It is two weeks to one of the biggest writing events there is!!!

I finished my first book in 2008. It took me 2 ½ years and I really believed about two chapters a month was what I could write. I wrote half another book and played with an idea that I couldn't get going on, and then in August 2009 I had an idea for a PREQUEL to my idea that wasn't flying. It spurted out of the pen onto the page in 7 weeks (about 70K). And I changed my opinion. The idea of NaNoWriMo, formerly so INSANE, suddenly didn't seem so impossible, so I thought, what the heck. Why not?


What IS NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month is a world-wide writing event in which people all over try to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The rules dictate it should NOT be started before the month begins and needs to be completed by the time the month ends. There is a rebel badge, though, if, for instance, you just wanted to write 50K on an already started work. (or if you want to write non-fiction) (or if you want to write TWO novellas of 25K each)--so you are not EXCLUDED if you like the idea but have one parameter that poses an obstacle.

It is easy to sign up. And shortly, there should be a way to hook up to friends. They changed servers this year to handle the exponentially higher traffic, so a couple pieces aren't quite up and running yet Friends is one of them.

They have graphs and gadgets to keep track of progress... The Burrow loved this so much in 2009 that we implemented a June counterpart, so I've written four novels this way (one of which appears to be the one that will take off on its own first—Kahlotus)



Why do I Love It?

1)  the group adrenaline is AMAZING
2)  somehow it is easier to allow yourself to let go of other responsibilities if you have a defined start and end. It doesn't feel as selfish as doing it indefinitely.
3)  Forcing myself to write FAST makes me just stick to the main story. I can tangent better than most, but really, that isn't what is best for a plot.
4)  I think it's a nice way to add some dimensions to some of your other online relationships. Blog buddies are easy to be close to, but I've found WriMos and ABNA are great for adding layers to facebook or twitter friendships that formerly didn't have as much substance. I ALSO love it as a time to encourage the young writers in my life—high school and college students who maybe haven't reached the commitment of writing every day all year round, but can take a month for a project. I have one writer friend who wrote her first book at 14 in the 2009 NaNoWriMo.


How Seriously Do I Take This?

You know me and my relationship with rules... if something needs to be fudged, I'm easy. I figure DOING it with some bent rules is a lot better than not doing it. Doing it and knowing you will need to bail at Thanksgiving when your family is all coming STILL leads to 35K you didn't have otherwise...

That said, I've won all four I've done (and this will be my first rebel year—since Medium Wrong has the first few scenes written). But then I write daily anyway.

So Who is in?

I am hartjohnson, once they get that friend thing going. I'd love to see you there!

30 comments:

Laura said...

Hi Hart - well, I'm in after the fun I had with BuNoWriMo! I'm LauraNB when the friend thing goes up. In June, I won (thanks to you - I watched your word-count grow and tried to refuse to get too far behind you :)), but pantsed my way along which has made for some strenuous editing! So this time, I'm going to be outlining and plotting my way through, just to see what difference it makes. See you there my writerly friend
La

Christine Murray said...

Yay! I'm doing it this year, but I'm going to work on two projects. May be slightly insane, but I'll feel so productive by December!

Don't forget the word war feature. A little competitiveness is good for breaking procrastination.

Writing can be lonely, I love any event that makes it more social.

Jessica Bell said...

I've got my blog tour through most of November. I hope this doesn't affect my traffic! Gah!!!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love feeding off the energy at NaNo! I never seem to be able to officially participate, but I lurk in the forums sometimes. :)

Journaling Woman said...

Hart, I tried one year and could not complete it, but want to try again someday.

Old Kitty said...

GOOD LUCK with your Nanowrimo writing next month!!!! Yay for being most NAKED about it!! Take care
x

Hart Johnson said...

Laura-too funny! I think you beat me in the end, didn't you? We were neck and neck through most of it, though.

Christine-YAY! I have debated two projects, too--I will probably decide last minute. I need two done before the end of December, so I guess it depends on how things are flowing.

Jessica-I think it's so hard with timing--there is ALWAYS something, and you've got enough people behind you, we will still all support!

Elizabeth-it IS great energy--you know... if it was ME, I'd sign up anyway... it's my FOMS...

Teresa, you should give it a go! I think even 'not winning' can be a win if you get a lot done. I've had friends who've modified goals because they knew they couldn't do the whole thing.

Thank you, Jenny! Hopefully I can get everybody ELSE naked, too!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Enjoyed it last year, but I just don't have an idea for this year.

Christopher Allen said...

I'll be here cheering you on, Tart!

Matthew MacNish said...

Um no. There is no way I could handle this. But I'll be cheering my friends on from the sidelines.

Deb and Barbara said...

SOOOOO impressed!!! I love this idea so much. I actually wrote my latest manuscript in 6 weeks, weighing in at 90,000 words. It was so exciting. Sadly, I don't have the time option this November, but I can definitely endorse the process. Good luck!
B

LTM said...

ooo, Good luck to you, TH! I've never done a NaNo, but they sound just awesome. Can't wait to see what comes out this year~ :o) <3

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thank you, Hart, for this valuable post and for explaining it so well. Last year, when I first heard about this, in no way could I even consider it. This year though, I am at least thinking about it. Last week I went the NaNoWriMo website and checked it out. I'm not sure yet if I will go for it, but I still do have a bit of time to decide and I have a rough outline in my head on how to move forward.

Happy Monday,

Kathy M.

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you so much for all the luck!

Barbara--maybe in June then, for BuNoWrimo? I get when the timing just isn't right...

Kathy-YAY! I hope you will! It is a great process and group experience.

Clarissa Draper said...

I really wanted to do it this year but I'm going on a cruise at the end of November and won't have enough time.

Michael Offutt said...

Your enthusiasm for everything that has to do with writing is intoxicating. You are not even discouraged if a bird shits on your manuscript. That right there puts you apart from all the rest.

Johanna Garth said...

I love your relationship with rules! AKA rules are important to follow, except when they apply to me. ;)

Sylvia Colette Branch said...

I'm in....nervous and trying to nail down this pesky idea so I can have a bit of a "plan" (it is being so difficult) ...but I am in. Will look you up once it is all up and running. cheers!

Hart Johnson said...

Clarissa-set your own rules! Do 35K in 20 days or something! You can still play, just change it up a little !

Michael-yeah, that FOMS thing makes me excitable about any party... teehee

Johanna-Oh, I don't expect anyone else to follow rules either... they're more like guidelines really *snort*

Sylvia-excellent! I look forward to seeing you!

Cold As Heaven said...

I'm not participating, cause I've always failed on previous attempts. On the other hand, I have some secret ambitions about completing my novel (one of them) before Christmas, but I don't tell anyone ... or did I >:)))

Cold As Heaven

Judie said...

I will be joining you in NanoLand. This will be my 6th year and I just love it.

Al said...

No way. I still think it is insane.

Have fun!

Danette said...

You all that do the NaNo thing amaze me. I am lucky if I get a paragraph written in an evening and many evenings don't get to open up my writing because of my schedule. But GO YOU!!!!!

Hart Johnson said...

CaH-YAY! Good luck with your deadline! And I promise not to tell...

Judie-excellent! you're definitely more a vet at this than me, but I LOVE it!

Al-I don't think I could if I wrote historic, either. your genre takes more research than most.

Danette-Some of us desperately need an excuse to escape our families... erm...

James C. Wallace II said...

Having won Nanowrimo twice and Bunowrimo once, I love the format. It suits my style to a tee. I'm finishing up a pair of books right now and I already have an idea for Nanowrimo which I'll flesh out as the day approaches. I love the madness!!!!

Cherie Reich said...

I'm in! I'll have to add you when they finally let me.

I won NaNo the two years I participated in it, and I'm seriously considering writing two novels this NaNo.

Southpaw said...

I’m thinking of participating unofficially. Dong the work but not have the pressure of or a word count or going online and doing the website stuff. I'm learning that it is time I need to watch rather than words.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

oh you know i'm in. And i'm in it to win it. I really hope this will be my third year as a winner

Hart Johnson said...

James-Excellent! It suits me, too.

Cherie-YAY! but two? HOLY COW!

Holly-that is how Elizabeth does it, I think--she writes along with the adrenaline, but doesn't actually sign up.

Sarah-I knew you were in! WAHOO!

GigglesandGuns said...

Wish you all great success with this undertaking. It fascinates me, I must say, but not enough to enter.