Nano-blah-blah-blah I give up.

So it’s November, which for many means only one thing…National Novel Writing Month. This is my second November Nano, and I did “camp” earlier this year. I failed last year, I failed camp, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be failing this year as well. This is not to say that I’m not writing, far from it. In June of this year, I wrote 60,000 words in a high fantasy novel, then I put it aside to write my latest Xoe Meyer’s book, which came in at around 42,000 words. While writing the Xoe book (Demon Down) I also attempted a romance serial, which turned into a 53,000 word book, “Falling Betwixt”.

I gave myself no deadlines for these works, and had no word count goals, and I enjoyed every second of my writing. Now Nano comes along telling me to write, write, write, and all I want to do is re-read and edit that first 60K of the novel I started in June. I should be working on a fifth Xoe book, and I should be working on the sequel to “Falling Betwixt”, but instead I’m just reading over this novel that has nothing to do with anything, and is causing me to fail at NaNo in the process….and you know what? I don’t care.

Whenever anyone asks me why I’ve never even attempted to submit a book to traditional publishers, this is my answer: I can’t do deadlines. I can’t work on what I don’t want to work on, and frankly doing so only succeeds in pissing me off. While I agree with the idea that sometimes you just have to sit down and force yourself to write, you shouldn’t force yourself into a corner with what Β you write.Β Instead,Β force yourself to work on whatever you’re currently inspired by, even if you have 100K in some epic tome that only needs fifty more pages, If you’re no longer feeling inspired, it’s not going to work out as well as it should. You can sit there and hit the keys at a snail-like pace, or you can switch gears and blaze through that new story that’s been clawing at the back of your brain….or you can edit and and not give a damn about your word-count for the month. Screw pressure and goals on a deadline. All that matters is that you’re working on something you can feel good about.

Consider this my anti-nano pep talk. Word count for the month: 10,000 and not growing at all.

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36 thoughts on “Nano-blah-blah-blah I give up.

  1. Personally, I think people get too caught up in NaNoWriMo. At its core, NaNoWriMo isn’t about a word count, it’s about making creativity a priority. It seems like you do a great job of that on your own. I say, forget NaNo. Edit and write on the books you want to work on. Don’t waste 50,000 words on something you don’t care about just because it’s November. Just do what’s best for you and your writing. Thanks for posting!

    1. For me Nano always puts me back in my place for creativity, taking the time for me and for my writing. Pushing that inner editor way back in my head (for now) so iI can keep on writing and not getting blocked by fears.
      The word count (as I see it), is just a way for people to get together and write fast, share ideas and tips.

      1. It’s my day off today and Pokemon just came out… its all I can do to not plop my butt on the couch and catch adorable critters all day, word count be damned! πŸ˜„

        Must stay strong!

  2. For the first few years, I worked on the exact same story, just moving the plot along each time. NaNo is what you want it to be, word counts or determination or whatever works best. So good on you for figuring out what you want to do, because if it keeps you writing, that’s what matters most.

    Oh, and thanks for the follow – you’re my #100! πŸ™‚

    1. Yay #100! I love hearing about the writing processes of others. It would drive me crazy to work on one story for that long, but I bet you ended up with an amazingly well thought out, highly developed work!

      1. You’d think so, right? But alas it still remains about 15% unfinished. I hope to return to it eventually, but my priority now is to finish NaNo and keep on going until this one is DONE. I have a plan and eveything πŸ™‚

  3. love your anti-nano peptalk!

    tbh the reasons why i’ve also never submitted anything to professionals is because i, too, don’t want to write for deadlines. and because i just don’t want to at all. πŸ˜€ i’ve one project i’m working on right now which is so autobiographical in places that i’m pretty sure that i’d end up with a lot of upset family and other people. even if it got published under a pseudonym and all the names changed. and frankly? it’s so very private that i don’t want anyone reading it at all.

    everything else… nah, i just can’t be arsed. who needs fame and money? not me. πŸ˜›

  4. Hey thanks for following! I appreciate it. The novel I’m blogging about is one I started before I’d ever heard of NaNo. Finally I’m working toward a finish with it and have to say, it may have taken me many more years to get this far had I not discovered NaNoWriMo. I have “rough exploratory drafts” of five more novels because of five Novembers, which wouldn’t exist without that kind of focus, for me, and I’m excited to take each of them through my process of finishing as well (without deadlines :o)

    Most of all, I find the NaNo cyber camaraderie – over 300,000 people, all ages, all over the world writing together for a month – to be such an amazing and heartening phenomenon. All from five writer friends with a big idea to share. And I love that you know your writer self so well and are so dedicated to your stories and your craft. It’s inspiring. You make a difference. Cheers!

    1. Well I’m glad that Nano works for some of us! I originally was drawn to it because of the community, but then ended up never really interacting with anyone. I’m pretty excited now though, because I’m finding quite the community here on wordpress!

  5. I agree, I couldn’t agree more.
    For me, writing a novel of 50,000 words in a month is just too…I don’t know…too stressful, I guess. Give me three months to write 50,000 words and edit it once and I’m happy. Cause I know that’s something I can do, something that’s not making me nervous just thinking about it. I can’t stand sitting in one of my courses thinking “Oh God! Only four days left and my word count isn’t even 30,000 words!”
    I won’t.
    No way, no how.

    Oh, and thanks for the like, by the way πŸ™‚

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