NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – My version of it

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Much has been made of November being National Novel Writing Month In fact there are two writing magazines that I currently have sat in my reading pile that have articles dedicated to it ; Writing Magazine and Writers Forum 

Many wannabe and published authors are buzzing about it and I think it’s  a great idea. The opportunity to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days,  to stop procrastinating and just get on with it; to complete the first draft of a novel, surrounded, supported and motivated by fellow writers and a website that inspires you is fab. This event has apprently grown year on year since it’s inception in 1999 and continues to do so…

I was all set to take part in it – what a great way to push myself to finish my category romance, I thought. I am an absolute perfectionist when it’s comes to my writing. My pattern goes something like:-

Day 1; Write a few thousand words. Think it’s okayish.

Day 2; Come home from work, sort the kids, husband and house out, eat dinner, do laundry etc etc Read over the previous day’s work, polish it and refine it and amend it and take sections out and rewrite bits..and then, 500 words lighter and having lost at least an hour of my writing time, write a thousand words. Then I am falling asleep over my laptop because it’s 11 p.m. and time for bed.

Day 3; As above. Revise, polish, amend Day 2’s contribution, end up 500 words lighter, write a thousand words, shut down for the night.

Day 4; as per day 3…you get the idea

The net effect of this is that it is two steps forward and one back and wondering if I will ever finish the darned thing, or when I do finish it, I feel like it has taken FOREVER and I am sick of it!

The idea of the Write a Novel in a Month challenge is not to have a polished, complete, ready for publication novel, but a first draft, a framework in place. It is writing without fear, without punctuation, without too much thought or planning. As the NaNoWriMo website itself says, it is getting the words down on paper and worrying about the quality of the writing afterwards. What better way for me to get at least one of my WIP’s written?!  So, I was going to take part in NaNoWriMo…until I went to the website and read the rules and realised that you are not allowed to use a work in progress, you have to start the novel from scratch. And the thing is, I have two works in progress and I really don’t want to have a third on the go.

So I have decided that I will do my own version of NaNoWriMo. I have 40,000 words to go on my category romance and I have given myself until 30th November (in line with NaNoWriMo deadline) to get them out. But I am giving myself a bit of a head start in that I am beginning now rather than 1st November, mainly because I am working longer days at work at present and therefore my writing time is limited. So I have approximately 49 days to write 40,000 words, so I need to to hit roughly 816 words a day. Now, I wrote 1500 words on Tuesday and 500 last night but will not manage any, we’ll see how I do shall we? I have my fingers crossed for good results!

Would love to hear from any of you who have taken part in NaNoWriMo previously and what your experience of it was, or are intending to take part in NaNoWriMo this year. Or perhaps like me you have done your own thing or are thinking about it..

All the best, Nikki


5 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – My version of it

  1. Catana says:

    This will be my fifth year, with one win behind me. There’s nothing like NaNo to cure you of misplaced perfectionism. It took a long time for me to accept that the place to strive for perfection is when you’ve finished the novel, not while you’re writing it. I still have wrestling matches with the inner editor, but I finished last year with a 70,000 word novel and the knowledge that I could prevail over the personal traits that have always stood in my way.

    • nikkigoodmanwannabewriter says:

      Hi Catana,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m really glad that you’ve had such success with NaNo, wow – 70,000 words! I’m looking forward to taking part in the real NaNo next year..

      All the best, Nikki

  2. Alexandra Crocodile says:

    I think you’re onto something here – the 50.000 word count isn’t the be all and end all, the important point is getting SOMETHING done:) So good on you! I’m also doing NaNo – add me as a buddy if you like!

    • nikkigoodmanwannabewriter says:

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I’m hoping it will tap down my perfectionist tendencies. Will have a look into the buddy thing – would love to, thanks.


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