Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why I Do NaNoWriMo

I've blogged about NaNo quite a bit over the past month or so, last year as well, but I noticed that I didn't share with you guys exactly why I do it.

I adore writing challenges. A lot.  I do my better work when I'm under pressure, it's probably why I love working at the newspaper so much.  When I see a challenge, I jump for it, official or not. Earlier this year I participated in Kaz Mahoney's Writing Challenge in which I finished the current love of my life, Denizens.  My poor baby is currently being torn apart* by Lood but I'm sure she'll come out the other side better and stronger.  (Below is how I feel about CP notes right after I get them.  Two days later I weep with how awesome my partners are.)

Anyway.  Nano is a writing challenge, so of course I have to do it.  Saying no would be an insult and I wouldn't want to insult the word gods, would I?  No. When I do that they punish me with writer's block for two weeks. Two weeks, for heaven's sake!  That's a long time when you're just past halfway through your MS.  Since, when I write, I pound out a minimum of 1k words a day, doing NaNo with the added pressure of finishing in 30 days isn't such a big deal for me.

Think about it like this.  If you do four sprints with the intended target of 500 words in each sprint, you'll have about 2k at the end of the night.  That's about 300 words more than the intended 1 777 words you need to write a day.  If you've plotted your novel, or are a pantser like me but know exactly where your story is headed, this shouldn't be too difficult.  There will be plenty of word wars and writing sprints happening on my twitter with all my writer friends, so there really is no excuse for not giving it your best shot.

Personally I don't think a NaNo first draft has to be crap.  If you put the effort in and prepare properly, you can produce a decent draft.  None of my first drafts are crap(except for the very first novel I wrote, it's currently hiding on a shelf somewhere).  Sure, they need a lot of work and have a boatload of typos, but it's not crap.  What needs to be fixed is done when I tackle the rewrites and edits and proofreading that follows.  Whatever I miss then, I'm pretty sure my critique partners will pick up.  It's part of the reason we have them.  So don't be discouraged by the few negative comments floating around.  I'm not.  In fact, I see it as the perfect opportunity to prove them wrong, and there are few things I like better than proving somebody wrong.  But in a nice way.  I just don't gloat about it. Only on the inside. (can you imagine my evil grin?)  I like thinking positive thoughts.

So my reason for doing NaNoWriMo:

1.  I thrive on the challenge.
2.  To get the first 50k of my not-crap first draft out of the way.
3.  I meet awesome writes while doing it.
4.  It's a good excuse to stay home and write as much as I want.**
5.  That story that's been bothering me for almost a year, now's the perfect time to write it.
6.  Yeah, I still thrive on the challenge. And constantly looming words-a-day deadline.
7.  How great is it to have something like this in common with, literally, hundreds of thousands of people?

The novel I'll be working on, TWCS, has been nagging at me since the beginning of the year.  I want to write the first 50k during NaNo, but if that's going to happen, I don't know.  I definitely intend on giving it my best shot. If I'm able to reach that target, I'll add the last 20k during December.  After that TWCS will go on holiday for at least two months while I work on edits for two of my other novels.  Only in March, maybe end February, will I pick it up again and start rewrites on it.  I firmly believe in letting not-crappy first drafts breathe.

I'm so freaking excited for it to start. The words in my head are driving me insane!  Five days are six days too many to wait!  This is the inside of my head at the moment:

Yeah, I kind of need to get the words out of my head, they're driving me insane.  There you go, another reason why I'm doing NaNo.  My sanity.

So why are you doing NaNoWriMo?  Or not?

*I probably should have warned him that it hasn't had a proper proper edit by me, but he'll rib me about it as punishment. Won't you? Yeah, you will.
**Or be a hermit and hide from the summer heat.


    Okay, now, for real.
    I work better under pressure too.
    Nowadays, I'm a writer full-time. At night I have my daughter and hubby home, but the rest of the day is mine, and without a challenge, #procrastination becomes my best friend in the blink of an eye lol
    Seriously ... it's so easy to let the day go by ...
    And I found out I love meeting writers like me (and you!) around the globe.
    Though this is the first time I'll do NaNo, I guess it fits me right =)

  2. Very nice. I work well under pressure. I get my best ideas.

    I will do NaNo it is great to meet other writers, too. I am excited.x

  3. Good luck with Nano. I decided not to again. I already started a WIP.

  4. Juliana, we have too much in common. You sound a lot like me so I know you'll love doing NaNo. You'll probably finish it as well.

    Ladonna, this pressure thing seems to work for us. I'm excited to start as well.

    E, thank you. I'm jealous that you've already started. Time's dragging till the 1st.