Saturday, December 1, 2012

Your mandatory NaNoWriMo Post

Once again, I have spent November writing like a fiend thanks to NaNoWriMo and once again, I emerge victorious. 57410 final word count! I feel a little shell shocked now that it's done, and I'm not quite sure how to get back into my previous writing habits (like giving this blog lots of love for the neglect it has received). I'm hoping to get a 50 Shades post up by next week, but I make no promises yet. There will be something here next Thursday, one way or another.

So, this was my third NaNo, and it was very different than the last two. My first NaNo was terrifying. I had no idea how much I could pump out on average with any sort of consistency, and so 50k seemed like a staggering, impossible number. I realized a few chapters in that the book I was sitting down to write, something that had been percolating and digesting for about two years by that point, was much less planned out than I had thought, and I didn't know my cast nearly as well as I thought I did. I loved every minute of it. It reminded me how important writing was to me on a very base level. Some people have creative needs, and over the years I had forgotten how big those needs were. I hope to never do that again.

My second NaNo (which was actually NaNo Camp) was totally different than my first. My goal was to write something, and finish it. I knew I could write 50k, but I threw my previous idea out days before sitting down to write and instead frantically drafted out what I hope will be my first published novel. The whole thing was electric. I was getting into a new job and out of town every weekend, but I somehow managed to not only hit 50, I went over. I can't pull up the exact number, but I wrote something like 65k. My two friends who also were doing it were openly disgusted and horrified at me. I knew what I was going to write, I knew the cast, and it all just flowed. It was wonderful. I actually finished the book, too! It has a proper ending and everything! Just need to finish editing it.

This year was drastically different than the other two. I know 50k isn't a big number for me. I can pump out 2-3k on an average day, so if I miss a day or three of writing, no big deal. I also was less enthused about my book. Just a random totally self indulgent project. I was okay with that. The thing I wanted to write I wasn't ready to yet (maybe for Camp) and I wanted something light. My last two had been on the heavy side, and even my "light" writing involve demon possessions, people getting mind controlled into marriage, implied sexual abuse (I'm not sure yet if it did or didn't happen), people getting maimed by monsters, one character getting the shit kicked out of them for their sexuality... I'm not good at "light and fluffy" is what I'm saying. I knew I wasn't super enthusiastic about it, but since my first one the goal was simply to write, the second was to finish, I wanted a goal for this year, too. My goal was to write even if I didn't feel like it or love what I was working on.

More and more I realize I want to be writing for a living. What's stopping me? Oh, the moneys terrible? It's already horrible! If I'm going to be making shit money anyways, I might as well be making shit money doing something I love, right? There is a catch, and I know this. Just because I love writing, doesn't mean I'll love everything I'll write. Doesn't mean I'll always want to write, but if it's a job, I need to keep going, and doing it until its done. So that was what this years NaNo was about. To see if I could. Turns out, I can. I'm not sure what the next step is now. Do I look into writing those pulp harelquin romance novels? Do I start prowling publishing sites for "We want a book about X"? Do I just keep blogging and working on editing my novel and hope that it gets picked up? I'm not sure, but for the first time, I'm shutting down that little voice in my head that says I can't do it, that I'm not good enough, that I don't have the discipline, and just going for it. I mean, I'll definitely fail if I don't try, so why not try and maybe fail when maybe, just maybe, I won't?

This is the danger of NaNoWriMo. It makes you think that maybe you can do crazy things.


  1. I've been reading your 50 Shades posts and I have really enjoyed them! So witty! I remember my reading the Twilight series during a holiday. Since I'm not a native English speaker I read the first part in my mother tongue and got so upset. It was horrinle and I thought the translation and/or the translator really sucked, I couldn't stand it. So I read the second part in English. It did seem slightly better, a bit unnatural and immature though (?) but as I said, English isn’t my native language. Judging by the quotes, 50 Shades aren’t better, however your deconstruction makes them fun to read! I look forward to the next part and I think I might join in the drinking game. :)

    Anyway, what I actually wanted to write about was your NaNo. Over 50 k words in a month, 2-3k daily average, I'm devastated and disheartened! I'm working on my PhD thesis and I only manage 400 words a day... OK, I write it in a foreign language and besides, I have a job that takes 9 hours of my day but 400 compared to 2000, I think I should do better! So I still have some 500 words to go today to reach at least 1k. Fingers crossed!

    And if your novel gets published, make sure it can be shipped to Europe! :)

    1. The English in 50 Shades is pretty bad in English, if you want a native English speaker to confirm that suspicon.

      Also please don't compare my NaNo words to your thesis word count. When I'm writing for NaNo I basically just beat the hell out of my keyboard until things come out. It's written with abandon and no thought for quality. I imagine your thesis has decent spelling, grammar, and actual thought (and probably research) that goes into it. That AND it's your second language? 400 words is impressive.

  2. Congrats on your NaNoWriMo! At around 10,000 words I got behind and gave up. Oh well, maybe next year. Can't wait for more 50 Shades post, you actually make the stupid things enjoyable.


  3. "Just because I love writing, doesn't mean I'll love everything I'll write. Doesn't mean I'll always want to write, but if it's a job, I need to keep going, and doing it until its done."

    I love this and agree with it so much. It makes me happy to see that someone else feels the same way I do.