Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriWTF?

The other night I was sitting around minding my own business when I saw a friend had invited me to join a NaNoWriMo group on Facebook. I hit 'accept' (because who in their right minds ever turns down an invitation on Facebook?), but honestly didn't think much of it. Mostly I thought, "Hey, a group I can join and watch other people accomplish things that I never will. I'm in."

Once upon a time I wrote short stories and toyed with the idea of a novel, but it's not something I can get excited over anymore. I like to read fiction. I don't really like to write it. Besides, while I'm intrigued by the idea of writing a book in a month, which is the premise of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I just could never get past the name. It sounded like something a Pentacostal would chant while brandishing a snake over his head.

However, when I looked a bit deeper, I saw that this group was comprised of some awesome women who seriously know how to write. And not all of them were writing fiction.

**Insert image of light bulb flashing over my head**

I've been struggling to birth a memoir for about two years now. By struggling, I mean talking about it on Facebook and Twitter, imagining what the cover would look like, wondering how I would find an agent and picking out a pen for book signings.

I'm actually very good at accomplishing things as long as I have something measuring my success. Sad, but true. Are you grading me on my work? I'll get an A. Is my raise dependent on this? My project will be finished early. Friends coming for dinner? The house will be spotless (but please don't look under the couch).

Accountability. I need it.

It wasn't until last month that I hooked up with a blogging buddy, who is writing her own memoir, and we came up with a plan to get started and keep each other accountable. She went raring out of the gate producing whole chapters at a time and I, in an effort not to look like a complete ass, managed to churn out an introduction and a chapter outline. 

And now, thanks to NaNoNiNu, I'm all fired up. I want do to this. Like, I REALLY want to do this.

I signed up on the website and saw that there were all kinds of tools, like forums and word count meters, to provide motivation and measure success. Things that measure other things? Yes!

Yesterday, November dawned on the other side of the world, and the Aussies went at it hard and fast. Before the day was out they were fist bumping each other and posting their word counts. Meanwhile, those of us on the waning side of the date line drummed our fingers and waited with mild disquiet.

Actually, that's not entirely true. I was too busy chaperoning a crazy cat lady and a dark lord through a well orchestrated candy orgy to think much about it. But I went to bed that night, determined to get my words in the following day.

So, despite the fact that I had a job interview first thing this morning, and despite the fact that I woke up with a chest infection, and despite the fact that I only got two hours of sleep (cat lady had a bad dream), I managed to sit down and churn out 1,800 words before noon today.

Boo. Ya.

My work here is done.

For today anyway. Only 29 more days to go.

So, who else is going to do this thing?

Do you have a book in you that wants out? You still have time to sign up. Go here. Open an account. Add me as your buddy if you'd like (wanderlustlust) and get writing.

One month from now you will have accomplished more than I did in the last two years. C'mon.

The world awaits your opus.



NaNoWriMo NaNoWriMo NaNo NaNo Write Baby Write!




"Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral. I want this lady written
up on multiple neighborhood code violations, no excuses!"



32 comments:

  1. I love it! I'm totally doing it this year, my first NaNoWriMo experience, in fact, I've just gotten home from a big kick off meet&greet nearby. Today I logged 2,156 words and I'm feeling good. Yay for you for seeing the benefit of jumping on this crazy train, and I'm going into my NaNiNaNi account now to make you my friend :) Good luck!

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  2. wow good luck!! do we get to see what you have written?

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    1. Not sure. I may share a chapter or two. But either way, right now it's unedited and too rough to share with anyone!

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  3. Best of luck K, so happy to be on this writing journey with you (from someone equally as in need of accountability!)

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    1. Me too, Donna! And I think it's a rare person that doesn't need a looming deadline. Whoever and wherever they are, I envy them.

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  4. You are a terrific writer and your book will be great

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    1. Aw, thanks Badger. I'll sign your copy with my spiffy pen!

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  5. I can't wait to read your book! Love the Halloween picture of your kids! :)

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    1. I can't wait until I have a book you can read! Thanks Kelly x

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  6. That's an awesome start! I've wanted to do it since 2007 but never have. I don't think my stories need to be told. Yours will be fantastic!

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    1. That's why god invented fiction. So we can tell someone else's story.

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  7. I want to do this. I've found myself literally with 4 pieces I want to write. All fiction. I have oft lamented the fact that my fiction muse abandoned me. But already, it's clear that having Joel so sick, the boys so stressed and Dad and his wife here recouperating, it's going to be tough. I'm trying, but I'm not pressuring myself. If I write anything, even a few pieces of flash fiction, while getting some ideas on 'paper' I'll be thrilled. If nothing else, NaNoWriMo has given me my muse back.

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    1. I remember the first thing I ever read by you was a piece of fiction you had posted on your blog. I loved it.

      You have a lot on your plate right now. But yes, getting anything out on paper feels good and has a restorative effect (at least for me) on creative energy. Maybe it's a way you can find some time just for you. x

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  8. Well I can't wait for your opus. I'm so glad you're motivated to DO it. Like yourself, I need accountability. I admire your drive. And I know you will do it. If I ever finish my book (and I will, I'm determined) it will be the most satisfying achievement ever. Despite knowing this, I STILL need motivation & accountability. You've already got my promise to read your memoirs. It will be an amazing book, I know. Put me on the pre-order list. xx

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    1. Deb, I would love to read yours, too. You're a phenomenal writer, and you have a story to tell. And I agree about the sense of satisfaction. I think when I can actually produce a polished copy of my book it will feel incredibly good, even if I can't find representation. There is such a sense of joy in having completed something we hold so important. x

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  9. Hilarious! NaNo NiNu :D I also won't be using NaNoWriMo to write ficiton because, like you, I like reading it but not writing it. I'm planning on using this to basically start a better writing habit and come up with pieces for a blog I'm starting.

    And I'm definitely interested in reading your memoir :)

    Happy writing to us both!

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    1. Awesome! Someone told me today that it's perfectly okay (on the official NaNoWriMo site) to write non-fiction. I felt like such a rebel until I read that. Wishing us both luck in hitting the 50k mark!

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  10. Well done! Cheering you on! I know it will be good!!
    You can't NOT do it now ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Karen. Hold that fire under me!

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  11. That's why I love our little group Near Enough NaNoWriMo! So glad to be taking the journey with you. Aren't there some awesome writers out there? Very inspiring.

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    1. I've found it very inspiring, yes. I love doing this as part of a supportive community. Glad you're along for the ride!

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  12. I salute you, gracious lady. Your bravery and your commitment. And your will to succeed. I know you will.

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    1. Thanks Steve - I keep thinking of how good it will feel to be done with it. I'm sure it's a feeling you're familiar with, having gone down this path already a time or two.

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  13. Good luck with your writing - I am sure it will be a total success !!!!
    Love the Halloween costumes - they look fantastic.
    Have the best weekend !
    Me

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    1. Thanks hon! The kids had a blast. Okay...back to my opus! x

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  14. Regardless of writing, I am so enamoured by your daughter wanting to be a crazy cat lady. Her Halloween is my Life Ambition! ;-)

    NaNoWriMo began yesterday, but I begin today!

    That's awesome, to make use of NaNoWriMo to get your birth memoir written, no matter what, at the end of November, you have success!

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    1. Her Halloween is the reality of my life! Yay, glad you're doing it too. It's been a lot of fun so far.

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  15. I've signed up. What in the world am I thinking? Eek! But I did it. I'm about 1500 words behind but by Sunday I will be on track.

    I'm excited to read your stuff. It's going to be brilliant!

    My writing is part fiction part lie LOL They always say write what you know. Well, I figure if I start there I will find branches, nooks, crannies that will lead to other things.... we'll see :)

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  16. Came here via the NaNo forums - love your story. Mine is very similar: thinking NaNo was cool for years but never thinking I'd write a book. Until I realized there was a fantasy book I'd always wanted to read but no one had written yet - why not me?
    Wishing you the best during NaNo!

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    1. Hi Nadine, nice to meet you! They say you should write the book you want to read, so it sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck!

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  17. Your determination inspires me. I have sewing inside me that needs to see the light of day so i will promise to sew every day. I await the news of your daily successes and I will cheeer you on from here every single day. Best to you.

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