November? NaNoWriMo? Really? A Rebellious Wrimo Speaks Out

What? I’m not allowed to feel rebellious? Well, too bad. I am! On Monday morning, November 1st, the writing world will be waking up to wrimosity… my word for writing animosity. Anyone who has openly admitted to participating in NaNoWriMo‘s thirty-day dash to a 50,000-word novel has likely encountered disbelief and ridicule from friends, family and incredulous neighbours.

But not from fellow writers and wrimos. No, we understand the drive to produce words. Anything that can give us an extra push towards literary achievement is a good thing. But there are some among us who are feeling the pinch to produce under difficult circumstances.

There are rules attached to NaNoWriMo that are creating frustration in the ranks. The intent of the NaNo endeavour is to create a complete novel, from beginning to end, within the thirty days. Those of us who didn’t plan ahead find ourselves with partial novels on the go… ones that we want to finish before starting something else. Ones that we would work on as a NaNo project if it weren’t for those darned rules.

Some are admitting that they plan to participate anyway, and only count the new words that are written during the month. Others are carefully adhering to the rule and only “shadowing” NaNoWriMo, using the month to continue working on a previous manuscript with a self-monitored goal of 50,000 new words. Still others are escaping entirely and dedicating their headlong lunge to 50,000 words in a “Write Non-fiction in November” (WNFIN) challenge.

Now the calendar is flashing itself provocatively at us, jeering at our lowered eyes, reminding us that there are only two more days — just one weekend — between us and the starting gate. It’s almost decision-making time. The Twittering has begun, there’s a Facebook page organized, and a blog on the go (from founder Chris Baty’s ‘Office of Letters and Light’). Everything is ready except ME!

If you haven’t already seen the following video that’s making its way around the web, here’s a little ditty that’s helping to get fellow wrimos in the mood.

So, how about it? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Will you be raring to start as the minute hand slides away from midnight Monday morning? (Does anyone still use those watches and clocks with Mickey Mouse arms or is everything digital now?)

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26 thoughts on “November? NaNoWriMo? Really? A Rebellious Wrimo Speaks Out

  1. Judith Robl says:

    I attempted WriMo once, but somehow life got in the way. If you have no family, no work, no other obligations, I can see that NaNoWriMo would serve a purpose. But at the moment, I’m in the middle of writing a historical novel as well as a non-fiction work. I don’t have the time for the WriMo distraction this year.

    However, if I cheat a bit, I could shadow WriMo with my non-fiction and a goal of Fifty-thousand Words. Hmm…..

    • I think at least some of the 100,000+ people who will be participating in NaNoWriMo might take offense at the idea they don’t have a life. I know of people who have families, work full time, manage to write for publication and undertake NaNoWriMo, too. It’s not something you do only if you have spare time. You make time because it’s something you choose to do to give yourself a creative boost. It only requires an average of 1,667 words per day so it’s doable. But I realize it’s not for everyone.

  2. mE says:

    I am even WALKING to keep myself going which could-might-cause-convoke (Yeah, convoke!, thanks to the T book) and evoke ideas! If you decide to write TWO novels at the same time…do the words of both count???
    And can someone PAALLLESE tell me how to get another friend into the Buddy space on NANO … forgot my former password too but finally got logged on…You go ladies!!!
    mE

    • It’s great that you’re getting in shape (mentally and physically) for the undertaking! With such preparations you’ll probably beat us this year! I e-mailed you regarding your questions, but if you want to write two novels in the month, go for it! Yes, all the words would count. Somehow, though, I think staying focused enough to complete one novel in four weeks will be challenging enough… at least for me. πŸ™‚

  3. christicorbett says:

    I can’t do NaNo this year, but I hope to participate next year.

    Though, your part about those who follow “most” of the rules but use partially completed manuscripts intrigues me. Maybe I’ll be one of those πŸ™‚

    Christi Corbett
    http://christicorbett.wordpress.com

    • As Judith mentions, sometimes life gets in the way. Or, another novel. I may use my NaNo page to count my words but won’t submit them for final verification. Not sure yet how I’ll do it, but one way or another I’m planning a concentrated month of writing. Maybe you’ll be like Shari and me… I like her “quasi-NaNo” plan! πŸ˜‰

  4. No can do. Ah. I get to watch all of you. Ha! This will be my first year to sit through a NaNoWriMo as an onlooker. I cannot imagine being a participant unless my life were to change drastically. I like my life. God is good. I will enjoy NaNoWriMo from the sidelines, and I hope that all the participants will enjoy it even though they will be working very hard. Cheers to many manuscripts reaching completion this November! Blessings to you…

  5. Paul Greci says:

    I’ll be rewriting at the beginning of Nov. but I might start something new mid-month. Maybe I’ll get to play next year πŸ™‚

  6. joylene says:

    Just thinking about it makes me want to take a nap. I can’t get my head around the fact that life has to stop. Otherwise how would those with jobs, children, and starving husbands manage? I suspect I’ll take on the challenge one day, but so far it doesn’t feel realistic. My hat’s off to all those do though. I’m more impressed than I’m letting on.

    • Life doesn’t stop. It can’t. Things just seem to get compressed. I’m way more time efficient when I have to fit a lot into a day. But unless you need that kind of competition to fuel your creativity, I can understand it wouldn’t have a lot of appeal. If you have writing projects on the go you’ll be doing your own thing during November, at your own pace.

  7. Erica Vetsch says:

    That was a hilarious and clever video. πŸ™‚

    –from a NaNo Shadower.

  8. I’ll be cheering for my friends who are doing it, but it isn’t for me. I tried it a few years ago and didn’t even come close to meeting the goal. I prefer to work at my own pace, which varies from day to day.

    • If I always worked steadily I’d probably accomplish what I wanted to. But sometimes I work in fits and starts until lethargy sets in. This frantic, headlong plunge into a story gets me moving again. In my three NaNo attempts I only “won” once, but I still had thousands of new words to show for my non-winning efforts.

  9. Laura Best says:

    It’s always out of the question for me. This is my busiest month. Perhaps one day when I retire. πŸ™‚

    • November isn’t the most convenient month, is it? Having just returned from a conference, there are a lot of better ways I should probably spend the next couple weeks, but I have the luxury of choice, and I’d rather choose writing.

  10. Shari says:

    I’ll be doing a “quasi-NaNo” — feeding off the energy and caffeine-buzz of other Wrimos to motivate me to push through a second draft of my WIP during November. I won’t hit 50k (not that much left to write!), so even if I bend the rules and enter the word count, I won’t get to “win”. This is difficult for my competitive-with-myself nature, but I’ll have to deal with it, lol. πŸ™‚

    • Quasi-NaNo isn’t related to Quasimodo, is it? No, of course not. It’s late and my brain is infused with silliness. You’ll be writing, and that’s the important thing. “This day, this day we write,” right? Well, Monday we’ll write. Right now I’m planning. Oh, I’d better go to bed. My brain is curling up in a fetal position. LOL.

  11. Oh, that video is hysterical!

    I thought I might do NaNo this year. But maybe next year.

    Can they move it to another month–say January? Probably not. πŸ˜‰

    • I wish it were in January, too, or maybe February. But no such luck. Even if I don’t get 50,000 new words written, though, whatever I accomplish will be useful. Having so much of the writing world focused on it means there will be lots of encouragement and accountability, which is a bonus for me.

  12. patti says:

    Carol, you are SO funny!!!
    I could never do that but am writing two books right now under contract.

    It’s like studying for college finals all over again, but it’s lasted for over two months!!!

    Great post.
    P

  13. tahliaN says:

    This is a great perspective on this phenomen. I couldn’t write this way, but I admire those who can. It’s taken me 3 yrs to write Lethal Inheritance.

    • Thanks for visiting here, Tahlian. I think we all have our own methods of writing, and certainly the NaNo dash isn’t how I would normally choose to write a novel. But it’s like a thirty-day free writing exercise and really gets the adrenalin (and creativity) flowing. It will push me through a first draft and then I’ll get back to a more traditional approach for the revisions. I hope your Lethal Inheritance does well!

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