Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Further evidence of my insanity

National Novel Writing MonthI should be finished the major revisions on my novel, In a Dry and Weary Land, by the middle of this month, so what better use would I have for my time than starting on a new one? With a big bang.

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, helped give me a little nudge three years ago, and a big boot in the butt two years ago. Without it, I doubt I ever would have become serious about writing. I also learned, the hard way, that I write much better with some planning and a good general idea of where I'm going. I've made friends going to the organized write-ins, which we decided to continue year-round.

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo started ten years ago. The challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel over the month of November. Prior research, plotting, outlining, all are allowed, but you can't start work on the actual writing until November 1st. If you do manage to crank out 50,000 words (they have a little upload program that will count your words), you win. All you win is bragging rights and perhaps a real sense of accomplishment. They have badges and widgets and participant profiles and forums and local events - a lot of pleasant kerfuffle. They also raise funds to sponsor libraries in the Third World. If you're interested in participating and/or donating, check out their website. A little good, clean insanity never hurt anybody.

I have never "won", but that doesn't matter. I have profited from my involvement, because I learned to write daily and to hold myself to it. Two years ago I was ecstatic to produce 36,000 words, about a third of what my novel would eventually become. This year I hope to get a good substantial start on the next one.

Wish me luck!

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Janna Qualman said...

Good luck, Janet! I hope it goes well for you. You'll certainly gain something positive from the experience, no doubt.

Melanie Avila said...

Good luck Janet! I'm getting excited for it. I still have to finish the edits on my current wip (and write a big scene) but then it's all NaNo!

Janet said...

What, Janna, you're not joining me? Fie and for shame. ;o)

Melanie, do you normally reach the 50K?

Melanie Avila said...

This is my first year. I only started writing 14 months ago and was just finishing my memoir when NaNo rolled around last year. Then I went home for 2 weeks so it didn't happen. I've been looking forward to this all year!

mark said...

Then you did well, ma'am. :)
"Broken Flute" never got much past 10,000 words. :)
Which is more than my first Nano project did.
I might try again this year, even though novels are by no means within my ability. :)


Janet said...

Melanie and Mark, I'm always happy to have partners in insanity. :o)

Rachel Burton said...

Good luck! I'm still weighing whether or not to go for it!

Cloudia said...

Aloha wishes from Waikiki!
I did it: completed my little novel and saw it make friends. What a feeling....Keep going!
Best Wishes,

Janet said...

Fun! What kind of friends did it make?

Cloudia said...

Aloha, Janet:
"what kind of friends did my book make?" the BEST kind: thoughtful readers who were touched by my vision. Check out my reviews at I do whenever I need a boost! today I got a check from a new friend in Kansas overpaying for 5 signed books for her friends.
"Aloha Where You Like Go?" is the title. Seeing your book in your state/province's library system, or in a bookstore is a strangely satisfying experience...I just started a daily blog: as well. glad to meet YOU, to enjoy your blog and this lively community, Janet

Melanie Avila said...

I tried to become your writing buddy on NaNo but I can't find you. Can you search me and add me as your friend? It's under the Authors tab on the main page.

Janet said...

Thanks Cloudia. Sorry it's been less lively lately. I'm not at home and have limited Internet access.

Did you make up your mind yet, Rachel?

Melanie, it's done.

Melanie Avila said...



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