I LOVE, no I HATE, no I LOVE, no I ..... NaNoWriMo

Here we are, in the midst of week 2 of NaNoWriMo. Unbeknownst to me until this week, week 2 is the cursed week (Week 2 is also apparently cursed for contestants on The Biggest Loser - who knew?). I refuse to do much research on it – no reason to tempt the fates – but as I understand it, if there is a week when most people drop out of NaNoWriMo it is week two. Maybe it is because in week one you just can’t help but be fired up. By week two you can no longer ignore the rest of your life in order to write; you have to shower, some people have jobs to go to and after a week of no sleep in week one you now have to make up for all that has been lost.

I LOVE NaNoWriMo. It has done for me all that I hoped it would. It got me going on a new project, a fiction piece and I have found that, like I have read of other writers, my protagonist is speaking to me and telling me where she wants to go. That is pretty cool. I’ve heard other writers talking about it, about their characters determining what direction the story goes in but I had never experienced it before. Of course kind of hard to have that happen when you are writing memoir, the past is what it is and as much as I might have liked to allow me (the protagonist if you will in the memoir) to go off in any direction, particularly different directions than those I really took, that just isn’t going to happen. NaNo also gave me deadlines, I mean, I know how many words I should be writing every day to stay on target for 50,000 words in 30 days (don’t worry the math has already been done, it is 1,667 per day). Additionally, NaNo, and Twitter as well, have introduced me to some of the coolest writers in the world who are also doing NaNo (or who aren’t or who are NaNoRebels), who send me 140 character missives of support. And that is support no matter if I’m on schedule or not, whether I’m enjoying or hating my writing day.

Wait, did I say I love NaNoWriMo? What I meant to say was I HATE NaNoWriMo. I mean really, 50,000 words in 30 days, whose cockamamie idea was that? So, every day I don’t make the goal number is just another day when I can beat myself up for failing at something I promised, myself and a few others, I would complete. And if I have to read one more 140 character tweet from the folks who already have 46,000 words written and it isn’t even the 15th of the month I’m gonna scream! What, they have no life? They spend every waking moment writing?

Okay, I’m better now (and so am I). No, I’m not schizophrenic, really. It is a love/hate relationship with NaNoWriMo for almost everyone I talk to who is attempting it. If you know anyone doing it, ask them how many times they have started and not finished, not reached the 50,000-word pinnacle. It is a whole bunch.

Just in the interest of transparency here, I am behind, way behind in word count. I’m hoping to make a bunch of it up tonight and tomorrow night but we’ll see. Good news is I still really love my protagonist in my work in progress (WIP). She is taking me on a journey and I’m letting her lead the way. So, as long as I don’t pull out the dagger to run through my own heart and end it all, whether I reach 50,000 words by November 30th or not is really beside the point. I have the beginnings of what I think will be a really good story and I just gotta keep plugging away at it.

If you are doing NaNo find me there my name is JulesJeffs, if you are on twitter find me there @julesjeffs (I know, original).

I still want to “win” NaNoWriMo. It is a source of pride, particularly since I told all you people who read my blog, the 12,000+ members of She Writes and anyone else who read my tweets that I was doing it, but not winning doesn’t mean I lost.

If I don’t post on December 1 that I did it, would someone remind me of those words, and come take the dagger from my hand. Thanks. Gotta run, lots of words to write.

Views: 20

Tags: @julesjeffs, Fiction, NaNoWriMo, Twitter, curse

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Comment by Stephanie Ayers on November 15, 2010 at 8:00am
That was the problem with mine. I'm writing fiction so I wasn't writing what I know. I was spending more time researching too. I'm rooting for you. We can do it.
Comment by Walker Thornton on November 13, 2010 at 1:21pm
Glad to see someone else is writing fictionalized memoir.. I'm sticking to the real story,for the most part-Taking a second stab at material that has been partially written previously. What this pace is allowing me to do is write the issues/emotions/events I was self-censoring initially. Words flow pretty fast, it's making my self get to computer that is the problem. Just did another 1000, so now at 11, 458... way behind!!
Comment by Julie Jeffs on November 12, 2010 at 9:34pm
Our wordcounts are close to the same. No story change for me, I just started a story that actually has turned out to need some research -- historical events etc. I keep finding myself engrossed in looking things up on the internet and not writing words. My deal is I get depressed about not writing then I don't write because I'm depressed. Okay I take it back, maybe I am schizophrenic. Just kidding. Okay, I'm going to go write now and this time I really mean it. Keep writing Stephanie, story switch or no, you can do it, we'll limp to the finish line together.
Comment by Stephanie Ayers on November 12, 2010 at 9:16pm
I added you to my NaNo buddies. I'm big enough to admit that I am in trouble. I'm not ready to quit, but a story switch is looking pretty good to me right now. I'm stuck in the middle, my character isn't speaking to me, and I have a huge gap between time frames. I'm only at 13,000 words, so I'm not so far in that I can't switch, but if I am going to do it, it has to be now. Ya know? Haha.

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