Heady Days of Optimism: NaNoWriMo is back!

It’s been a few years since I succumbed to the siren call of NaNoWriMo, and a few more since I managed to produce 50,000 words of semi-readable prose; yet ever since that first crazy angst-ridden effort, November for me, has become synonymous with writing. So although I got on my soap-box on this blog and said NoMoWriMo for me, I’m wondering whether it’s time to dip my toe in the warm waters of creativity and try my luck again.

They say time heals all.

So the blog has been dusted off and given a facelift (new season, new look… although I’m not sure quite what this theme says about this season?). Scrivener has been opened up with an eye on using it for something other than sticking inspiring pinterest pictures and playing with the post it notes. And quite fortuitously my monthly writing group happened today, so I’m in the writing zone!

What could go wrong?

Looking back on my Postcards From NaNo series, the last time I was this optimistic going in the enthusiasm lasted three days, before the wheels fell off at day 15. To protect myself from NaNo burn-out this year I’ve come up with some rules of engagement.

Rule 1. Don’t chase the word count. My main goal is to recapture my love for writing and to reestablish the habit, rather than crush the magical creative process chasing some random numerical validation set by someone else.

Rule 2. Don’t compare. Yes I have suffered from word count envy in the past. Not even looking at the stats this year.

Rule 3. No strict rules. I don’t have to write every day if it doesn’t work. I don’t even have to work on just one novel. Or in fact any novel. I might write poetry. Or song lyrics. I used to like writing song lyrics!

Rule 4. Have fun. If it isn’t fun I’m not doing it.

Hopefully that will keep November from derailing. Expect some NaNo postcards again this month, but probably not every day. And if anyone still reads this blog, stop by and let me know how your own creative process is working out!

14 thoughts on “Heady Days of Optimism: NaNoWriMo is back!

  1. You have basically got the same attitude to NaNo as I do. In fact, I wish they just considered any writing you do during the month as a “win”. Last year I got 40k. How is that a loss?!

    1. 40K is amazing. Perhaps we need to start a NaNo revolution – change the unrealistic expectation (it’s probably quite realistic for some). Take the win wherever that number falls. Are you participating in NaNo this year?

      1. I am, and it’s going okay at the moment, though I think that might change when I get to about the two-thirds point and have no idea what is going to happen next. Maybe I can fudge something til then. This is definitely a story I will want to continue working on post-NaNo, so I don’t want to destroy it too much during this month.

        I think revolution is a terrific idea! I guess that is sort of the point of some of the other writing challenges out there, like ROW80 or 750words.com, but it seems NaNo is the most prolific.

      2. Vive la revolution… And for not destroying the story for the sake of the word count. Friend me on NaNo if you like and prepared to not be blown away by the stats!

  2. I think about Nano every year and something always happens to destroy my confidence in making the achievement and I bail. Not this year! I’m starting late (later today in fact) and my aim is not to wrote 50k, but to write as many words as I can to finish my WIP. That might only be 20k but at least I can say I gave it my best. I’ll be adopting your attitude too. Let’s have at blast!

    1. I’m loving your attitude and am finding I’m really enjoying it this year too. I didn’t write yesterday and had not the smallest sliver of guilt. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s session and might pick it up again tonight. Good luck – and feel free to friend me at NaNo. I can’t seem to find anyone over there!

  3. Now THAT sounds like a NaNoWriMo I could appreciate. I’ve always been put off by the nature of the NaNo. My muse does not do well when I am stressed, and NaNo is a recipe for stress, but what you describe above? I need me some of that!

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