NaNo Convert

There is a very solid reason for my absence over the last few weeks/month.

I was entrenched in the yearly event of National Novel Writing Month.

Now, up until I actually participated in it this year, I was firmly anti-NaNo. I thought, what the heck do people need this for? Don’t they have enough motivation to write every other month? What’s the big deal?

Welp, here’s my story.

Usually the fall is the most productive writing time for me, but I hit a block. Not writer’s block. I knew exactly what I wanted and needed to write. But I was in the middle of my second book in the MG fantasy series I’m writing and the immensity and scope of it was getting to me. Plus the fact that my hopeless perfectionism kept slapping me in the head. I have a hard time with writing anything less than amazing.

Which is ridiculous.

Which explains my block.

So, at the very last minute possible (the afternoon of October 31), I signed up for NaNo. And decided to completely chuck my second book to the side for the time being.

Instead, I focused on a dream I’d had a week or two previous. I’d written down a lot about it, because I knew it’d be a good story, and thought it would help if I got a lot more down while it was still semi-fresh in my head.

And you know what? It worked!

Ignoring my problem child helped me channel my writing into a cohesive draft. While it isn’t completed, my NaNo book is coming along swimmingly. And is some of the darkest stuff I have ever, or maybe will ever write. I mean, seriously, where did all this stuff come from?

And thanks to the website, I could see where all my friends were in their progress. I have a SLIGHT competitive streak, and seeing their little bars go higher and higher made me push myself to write more than them.

Shameless, probably, but whatever.

Now, I know some people are still very much anti-NaNo, but I’ve been converted. People think it’s the wimpy way out. That we should be motivated and strong enough on our own.

But I’m okay with being thought of as wimpy and weak. Honestly. It got me writing again. Against many barriers.

I finished five days early. And during November I moved back to Michigan from Washington state, started a new job, got sick, began a new exercise regime, lived in a hotel for three weeks, moved to a new apartment, furnished said apartment, prepped for Thanksgiving, and visited many of the people I hadn’t seen in months.

So I don’t believe NaNo ran my life at all. If I can do it with all that crap going on, I know I can do it any other time. And even better? While I was NaNoing, the creative juices began to churn again for my second book I’d set aside, and I even got some writing done there! Yay!

Is my NaNo book perfect? Far from it. Will it ever get published? Who knows? Do I care? Only a little bit. My goal was to just write, even if it sucked, to get over my perfectionist tendencies.

I don’t think I’m cured yet, but well on my way.

How did everybody else’s November go?

Happy Writing!


“There’s an old folk saying that goes: whenever you delete a sentence from your NaNoWriMo novel, a NaNoWriMo angel loses its wings and plummets, screaming, to the ground. Where it will likely require medical attention.”
― Chris Baty

“Don’t be offended if you encounter some good-natured ribbing; the idea of
writing a novel in a month deserves to be laughed at.”
― Chris BatyNo Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days



10 thoughts on “NaNo Convert

  1. I call NaNoWriMo my “restart button”. After NaNo, I maintain the “write only forwards, cranking out words a mile a minute”, but slowly I get sucked down. Is that the best word to capture it? How can I perfectly describe that? This dialogue drags too much; I need to sharpen it up… Then NaNoWriMo comes again, and I’m forced out of my headache slow pace, I can’t worry about the perfection anymore, and I get back on track. Some of the best stuff I’ve written and most vital lessons I learned came while doing NaNoWriMo.
    Funny; I had a similarly crazy full plate during November and reached the same conclusion this year.
    Good for you for trying it! I know a lot of naysayers who stolidly refuse to ever even consider it as an option. I’m so glad you’ve converted though… To the Dark Side. 😊
    I know what you mean about the competitive streak… I’m a bit the same way. If you do it next year, and you’re interested, you can add me as a buddy (Kat Frost, lol). I’ve never done a word war before, but that’s an option too… 😃
    Thanks for sharing your story! 😁
    ~ Kat

    • WORD WAR??!?!!?!?!?!! I love it!! I’ve never heard that phrase before, but it definitely applies to me. I need that kind of competition and motivation. And my friends didn’t know their word count was spurring me on. I kept that quiet and just kept track of their daily counts.
      I’ll have to add you next year as a buddy!
      I love your take on NaNo, it’s basically exactly the reason I did it this year. And now, I’m on a writing high and getting a lot done! WooHoo!!!
      I’m ignoring the naysayers. They can do what they want to get crap done. I’m going to do what I need to/have to to be the best writer I can be.
      ~ Amy

    • Thanks! And you, too!!! I’m so glad I did it. Probably even more so because of everything going on. When I’m busy, I’ll either be horrendously lazy, or pack in a million things. The latter was true this year. Crazy.

      • Haha, I know what you mean. That was one of my favorite things about the month–I found out that I can still be ridiculously productive even when life is crazy. No more excuses!

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