Thursday, November 18, 2010

To Nano or not to Nano

Why I do not do NanoWriMo anymore
by Kim Smith

Because it is far easier to just sit my butt in the chair and write if I don’t have all the pressure of a contest to turn out a certain word count.

For some people, they need a bit of pressure. It encourages them to “get ‘er done”, or at the very least get ‘er started. I believe that anything that gets a writer going is okay. So, if you are hot on the trail of the next bestselling book, and it is thanks to Nano, then you are okay by me.

But we should all remember that writing is easy if you don’t care much about what you are putting on the page. Most times, writing is something akin to pulling out your own jaw-tooth with a rusty pair of pliers. It just ain’t gonna come out.

Sometimes we have issues that crop up. I have them nearly every day. I cannot write and take care of issues and worry about a contest that requires me to get in 1667 words. It will shut me down and I will NEVER get anything done. But there are a lot of folks who can do it and do so every dang year.

One of those great fall Sundays where I had a belly full of stew and football on the tube and man, that couch was just a ‘callin’ convinced me that Nano is timed all wrong for me.

I don’t need Nano. I write my utmost best in fall and winter. It’s too chilly or bad weather then to do anything outside, so naturally my attention turns inward. And my muse is always waiting.

But if you are a Nano-er and still sitting here reading this post, best hop to it. Your word count is calling. I just penned 300 words for you on this blog and it was pretty darn effortless. If I can do that, you can succeed too. Best of luck, and let us know how it’s going.


Hart Johnson said...

I love the adrenaline of NaNoWriMo. I decided about 3 books ago that I have an easier time EDITING if I let go of the quality of the first draft and FLY because it is easier to let go and remove stuff that isn't so painfully extracted. For me, carefully crafted, slowly written words STILL may not go TOGETHER just right, but I am a lot more resistant... it's a mental game, but as I know me, I am using it. You are spot on though--each of us needs to find what works for us and just encourage other writers to do what works for them.

s.w. vaughn said...

I must agree with you, Kim - NaNo works for some people, but not all.

It doesn't work for me, usually because come November I'm midway through one book or another that needs me to keep writing it, and not stop to pound out 50K words of something else.

And I know I can't sustain that pace. I did try for a few years.

However, a few weeks ago I wrote 25K words in 10 days... so I CAN write fast if I feel that I need to. Just not longer than 10 days (because damn, that almost killed me. *G*).

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

On average, when I'm writing a new book, I usually turn out between 1500-2500 words a day. But so often I'm in edit mode for one of my gazillion books, and then it's a whole different world. I love the creating part. Wish I could ALWAYS be doing that!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm with you, kiddo. At this stage in my career, I want the words to be perfect. That may be why I'm still reworking chapter 32. It's been a week. Yesterday I worked on day on such the first paragraph. Exhausting work.

Great post, as usual.

Dawn Anon said...

I'm in my third year of Nano... my second "real" year. I'm at 20-something thousand words. I'm behind schedule.

I've found Nano to be very helpful... i've blogged a teeny bit about it. But mostly, in a nutshell... i have trouble sitting and writing daily because of my confidence level. I think i'm not good enough. Nano gets me to not think about that. Now as i write more, i'm finding that plots are coming easier because i'm putting out some quantity. I think, maybe, once people are "real" (i.e. published) writers (see, there's that confidence thing again) Nano isn't as helpful.