Tuesday, October 18, 2011



November is closing in fast, bringing about the annual, insanity-fueled writing event that is National Novel Writing Month. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNo) was an event I only participated in as a spectator until last year, when I finally screwed up the courage and joined in and “won.”

People tend to either love or hate NaNo - and it isn’t for everyone - but I credit this annual call to unfettered writing for getting me back on the road to becoming an author. It helped me break through a wall that I thought insurmountable, and I now have a complete first draft of a novel.

But, should I participate again this year?

My first draft of my novel is a bit of a mess. According to my handy (and carefully crafted) writing schedule, I should be done with my rewrite by now, thus freeing me up to participate in this year’s mad month of novel writing. I’m not finished - not even close.

Then there is the issue that the first draft IS such a mess, which prompted my decision for a full rewrite. Is that because I wrote it in the frenzy of NaNo? Or, is it because it was the first writing of length that I had attempted in over ten years?  Is a badly written first draft better than no draft - especially in light of the fact that I have still failed to rewrite my first NaNo progeny? Will I ever finish my first novel if I start a second? Will the world really end in 2012?

Look people, I’m going to go ahead and confess that I’ve decided to go forward with this year’s test to writing sanity. I’ve reactivated my account at the NaNo site - I’m in. Is it a good idea? Who knows? I’m still having the above debate in my head. But, what I do know is this: I need a fix. I’ve been floundering the last two months, and I need the rush that only a hit of success can bring. I NEEDS it.

Until November, I’m going to work as hard as I can on my rewrite - try to at least get the beginning finished. Maybe I’ll even continue to work on it, perhaps a chapter a week, during NaNo. It could happen. NaNo could get my adrenaline going, and I could become a word machine. After all, it happened once before. I finished NaNo last year with just over 56,000 words. It was magic, and right now, I need some magic.

Anyone else joining in NaNoWriMo this year? Do you plan to work on another project at the same time (or is that just certifiable?)

Posted by Jennifer B. at The Writing Cocoon.  


  1. I'm still in consideration mode. The problem is, I think I had a potential idea, but I can't remember what it was. NaNo maybe, with a slight lean toward yes.

    If I do jump into the NaNo pool, I will almost certainly be working on revisions/work on my WiP at the same time. I'm not sure how that's going to work, but I've certainly read of a lot of writers who work on a new piece for part of the day, and then work on edits/rewrites/revisions on something else for the other part of their writing time.

  2. We're going to have to be awfully disciplined to pull off NaNo AND edits/rewrites/revisions. But, NaNo is supposed to be about challenging oneself, right?