NaNoWriMo sanctuary

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I’m going against the grain!

I am not doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I haven’t participated in quite a few years, despite my ardent support of the movement. I’m cheering all my friends who are doing NaNo this year–W at Loud Solitude, Susan at ReadingWritingLiving, Nova at distraction No. 99, itsy at Finding the Words, Elizabeth at Fluent, and sci fi fanatic (and I’m sorry if I forgot to list you–I think nearly everyone I know who has an aspiration to write a novel is doing NaNo this year!)

That’s a lot of cheering on my part, but many of them have passed the short story word count mark and are hitting novella territory (at 1,667 words a day to hit the month’s 50,000 word mark…many of them will hit 10,000 words today to stay “on track”). That deserves a cheer!

I’m on the sidelines, and I’m happy with that fact.  NaNoWriMo just doesn’t work for me. The last time I participated, I ended up emerging from NaNoWriMo on a months-long writer’s block. It’s apparently not my process, at least not for now. Bleah. I cringe at the memory of writer’s block.

Plus, there is just something beautiful about November, at least to me, that keeps my eyes from being glued to the laptop. I’m doing some writing but not 1,667 words a day everyday–in fact, I’m doing a lot less writing than last month, when I was furiously working on my thesis revision. I turned my thesis in to my reader last week. (yay!)  I am having such a TERRIFIC time writing my thesis–I loooove my thesis director now and my reader is a fantastic writer and teacher, too.  Switching my thesis over to a collection of short stories from my novel is possibly the best thing I’ve done for myself as a writer in a long time.

Now, I want a bit of a break, just a few days to make some pumpkin cookies, bake a pumpkin pie, adore the changing the landscape. I’m taking some time to digest, read other manuscripts, work on my novella, ferment ideas. I’ve decided to do some reading of literary works.

So you are welcome to take sanctuary from NaNoWriMo here. I will not be giving you daily word counts–if you’re doing NaNoWriMo and having a bad day, you can just hang out without the fear that I’ll be announcing my daily word count to you. Or if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, then we can be Non-NaNoWriMo buddies together.

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10 Comments

Filed under Life, MFA, Writing

10 responses to “NaNoWriMo sanctuary

  1. That picture is lovely. I wish I could see the seasons change in L.A.l ike that. Perhaps I’m not looking up to notice.

    It felt good for me to write a collection of short stories for my thesis too. There are 2 I’m very proud of in that collection. I’ve told myself that I’m going to pull them out in ’08 and see if I can find a home for them.

    I absolutely *hated* NaNo last year so I don’t know why I’m doing it again. I must like torturing myself. :o( So thanks for the cheers! I’ll need them.

  2. Stephanie: hello! welcome to the sanctuary. 🙂

    L.A. has its moments–there are plenty of gum trees about, that seem to change into brilliant flaming colors, despite the temperatures. And there is nothing as cool as one of those looming palm trees in the middle of winter!

    Good luck with NaNo!

  3. Thank you for the support, and thank you thank for the sanctuary. And congratulations on turning in your thesis to your reader… I look forward to one day reading your book.

  4. I’ll be one of your non-NNWM buddies. I got no further than signing up because I am too busy with work writing deadlines. But it’s a great idea and I also cheer those who are doing it.

  5. I don’t really believe in NaNoWriMo. I did it once, in 2001, and produced 46,000 words of total crap. I just think books take longer than a month to write if they’re going to be any good. I think it’s great to have word count goals, though, to get a first draft down. Congrats on your thesis going so well, by the way. Maybe your thesis director is better at working with short story collections than novels. When is HER novel coming out, btw?

  6. I wrote 503 words and gave up using the excuse that it was in solidarity with the screenwriters’ strike, which it really was but also really wasn’t. I was looking for the first excuse to come around the bend and that was a great one.

  7. subjectiveobserver

    And I’m just starting NaNoWriMo this year. Started out well, but getting some writer’s block at the moment, unfortunately.

  8. nova: I do feel great relief in getting my thesis to my reader, though it’s not in the kind of shape I want it to ultimately be.

    charlottotter: join me in the stands!

    bustopher: i do sort of believe that, but everyone has such a different writing process–nano helps a lot of people get that first draft out. and yep, my director is much better with short stories.

    tiv: good luck toy ou!

    subjectivobserver: i hope you get through it!

  9. w

    I got behind the last week because of a nasty cold, and tried to catch up tonight. Stopping in here for a bit of TLC. Thanks so much, lady. And it sounds like the shaping of your thesis is a wonderfully positive experience… as it should be!

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