Tag Archives: nanowrimo

Forcing the Words

I tried to force myself to write the first week of Nano this year and for the second year running life and overwhelming anxiety about it got in my way. It is hard enough to look for a job and try to get you general life straight. I add Nano to the mix and suddenly my brain clears of the ability to form basic words for anything. My text messages become simplified and my blog posts usually become non-existent.

I enjoy writing, that’s why I write. However, when put in a position of writing for an event like Nano, my OCD goes into overdrive. I don’t like to use my disorders as excuses, but this month I am.

Reasons my OCD can’t handle Nano:
1. I hate writing for word count. It can be difficult enough to sit down and write every day without forcing an arbitrary word count goal for a 30 day period. I don’t mind a daily word count goal, my personal daily goal is 1,500 words. This is lower than Nano, and it doesn’t matter what I write.
2. I hate writing without editing. Now I know that not all my posts are edited, in fact I have a whole section for non-edited short fiction. However, intentional 30 minute stories are different than a novel. I don’t mind writing for hours at a time to meet a personal goal. I can edit as I go if I just have to meet a personal goal. One point of Nano, or so I’ve been told, is to not edit as you go. This drives me bonkers! I constantly look back and try to fix unless I set a time limit. I suppose I could set a time limit for my Nano writing, but why force yourself to write a story you constantly want to go back and fix, but you can’t just so you can meet a word count goal? I would rather write for story content not for word count. Grrr.
3. I think after 4 years of Nano attempts, I need a break from my own bad fiction. Now I am not saying I will never want to write fiction again, but I just don’t have any ideas for fiction right now. The more I try to force ideas, the more I hate my characters. They are boring, without friends, who sit around thinking about living life but don’t. Maybe this is a representation about how I feel about my own life at the moment, and that’s fine. I am bored, I do spend a lot of time alone, and I am the person who is keeping myself from the life I want. Good self realization does not help write good fiction.

So, I am going to have to change my November focus. This Nano I will write as much as I feel like writing. I will focus on whatever I want to write when I open my computer. And finally, I WILL edit if I feel like it.

Now that I have decided that I am an official Nano rebel, I guess it’s time to change my novel info on Nanowrimo.org. I hopefully my brain will follow suit and allow me to write again. If I am stuck working jobs which make me hate myself, I refuse to write things which make me hating writing.

Embrace the crazy, work with it to create what you want to create. Don’t force the things that just won’t work, but don’t give up on yourself or your own life. This is my take away this week.


Impending Nano

So every year, for the past few years (this being the fourth year) I have attempted to participate in Nanowrimo. This for those of you who don’t know takes place in the month od November, with the express purpose of people around the world writing novels. All proceeds they raise from donations go towards literacy for children. This in itself is enough cause to participate. I however, have not been the best participant. I have yet to make the word goal of 50,000 words in one month. This is not to say that I am incapable, yet I seem to find that life gets in the way.

I tend to find that life enjoys getting in the way of literary pursuits, whether it is in writing or reading. Real life tends to take offense to a person who would prefer to spend time reading or writing things that do not coincide with what “real life” thinks we should be doing. And looking at the looming date of November 1st when I am supposed to begin my novella, I struggled. I couldn’t find a topic, inspiration, or anything consisting of the two. But I prevailed.

Now I have to figure out how I am going to complete this goal. I must write everyday­. I must focus on my characters and remember that they are really in control. I have to let go, so that I can prevail. I can do these things.

I have officially gone off meds, so my characters will be more crazy, and maybe this month of writing will help me embrace my crazy instead of medicating it to the shadows. I hope that my characters will show up when I call them. I am not holding my breath on this one. After having directed plays before I know that actors and characters show on their own time, I hope that I have the patience to handle this.

The main point is that I am again writing! I don’t know if any good will come of this writing, but I will be doing it. I will be talking to myself in the best possible way, having multiple conversations with myself via my keyboard. This excites me. I miss those conversations. I even look forward for a character wandering off and leaving me hanging, just so my mind can go in search of them. It’s much easier to go in search of a wayward character than it is of a drunken friend. So despite my trepidation, I look forward to this year’s nano in a way which I haven’t looked forward to those of the past.

So embrace the crazy, write something insane and see what you find.

If you are interested in nano and all it entails go to: www.nanowrimo.org

Happy writing!