NaNoWriMo 2021 update #2 (I think, or is it #3?)

Well, it never happened.

About ten days ago I went back to the idea of picking up on an unfinished NaNo project and re-read the 22,000 or so words of The Journal. And I liked it! Enough that I chose to pick it up, knowing I was unlikely to hit the 50,000 word goal, even with that head start.

But then the writing part never happened. I muddled about, then worked on other stuff. And so here we are with only three days left (including today) and unless I can manage 9,333 words per day, I will fall short. Alas.

But I think I will revisit The Journal, anyway, just on my own schedule, whatever that may be.

Technically, I didn’t actually “lose” NaNo 2021 because I never officially declared a project, but still, I feel bad. Fortunately, I have no cookies to console myself with, because I’d convince myself I need a lot of consoling, a lot of delicious chocolate chip-flavored consoling.

National Novel Writing Month 2021 Update #2: In which a tumbleweed is spotted

A visual representation of my effort so far this month:

Sass by Laramie Briscoe — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs ...

I’d like to say I’ve been busy with other things, and that is true, to a degree. I’ve also been horribly distracted by stuff outside my control. I’m willing to still give this a go two weeks late, so come Monday I’ll provide Update #3, which will tell the tale of whether I actually wrote something. It could happen!

To NaNoWriMo or not NaNoWriMo (2021)

About a month ago I wondered if I would do Inktober this year and voilà! I did a drawing on the first day.

I then did no further drawings, going 1/31.

I skipped National Novel Writing Month last year and didn’t regret the decision. My circumstances are different this year, and I’ve been mulling over whether to take part.

I’m still not sure, with mere hours before it officially begins.

What I do know is that if I do take part, it will be as a full-on pantser, perhaps even a full-on pants-on-head.

I have made a few decisions if I do participate:

  • I won’t continue a previous story
  • I won’t rework a previous story
  • In other words, this will be something 100% new
  • Probably something spooky or weird

But really, there’s a good chance I won’t actually do it. I like the idea of plunging in completely unprepared, though. It adds a certain zest.

Tomorrow I’ll update (for real) with either my announced project, an excuse for why it isn’t quite announced yet, or an admission that it ain’t gonna happen.

National Novel Writing Month 2020 update

Update: Many people are still writing, while many others have met their 50,000 word goals or exceeded them.

I have continued to not write a novel and actually feel pretty good about it. In the past I’d argue that making the effort and stumbling was still worthwhile but…been there, done that. I’d rather write something to my own schedule now. I think I can do that now and NaNoWriMo is more a barrier than an aid at this point, because it forces you to write a story in a specific time frame, which is arbitrary and a little weird. It’s great if you’re just starting out, or desperately need some kind of external discipline to get you started.

But I no longer need those things, so maybe I won’t participate next year, or ever again.

Now I just need to prove how smart this decision is by, you know, writing and maybe even finishing a novel. It could happen!

National Novel Writing Month 2020 Day 23 word count: 38,341 (minus 38,341)

Yes, if I had participated in NaNoWriMo this year and had stayed on track, I’d be closing in on 40,000 words as of today, or possibly have already moved beyond that upon entering the final week home stretch.

Instead, my word count is zero. I have written nothing, nada, zilch. I have not had to wonder if the Windows version of Scrivener 3.0 would finally be ready for NaNo this year (spoiler: it isn’t), I have not had to wonder how I will fix giant plot holes, barely-there characters or gaps in logic that an 18 wheeler could rumble through.

Do I feel bad about this non-effort, especially since I had originally planned on participating?

I do not. If I think about it in some detail I can move the needle to “a little bad.”

And yet, I am trying to get moving on writing again, in the same way that a man who has to walk a thousand miles starts his journey by checking Amazon for a nice pair of comfortable shoes. I wrote this post! I wrote another post! More writing may occur!

We’ll see where it goes.

I did happen to come across this post while searching for something else on my blog and I call to Inspiration Cat to help me like you’ve never helped me before! (If you read the linked post you will see that Inspiration Cat did not, in fact, help me at all.)

And just because the image amuses me and this month’s unofficial blog theme is Funny Cats, here is the happy little typist again:

National Novel Writing Month 2019: I could still win

Yes, I could still win NaNoWriMo this year, with just four days left. Let me use this handy computer calculator to see what my daily word count would need to be to pull off the feat:

12,500 words per day.

This is due to having written no words at all this month.

On the one hand, there is a perverse sort of temptation in trying the impossible to see how far I’d get (my guess is maybe 10,000+ words, though the last day is a Saturday, which would lend itself to binging, were I so inclined). On the other hand, the only thing of value I’d get would be to simply exercise the ol’ writing muscles.

Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Words are words, after all. Not to be confused with “Deeds, not words,” the credo adopted by Ace Hunter and his elite group of freedom fighters as featured in the all-time classic Megaforce, of course.

But on the third imaginary hand, if I was going to do something like that, it would probably be a better use of time to revisit one of my existing stories, or work on something new that wouldn’t be subjected to NaNoWriMo’s hellbent-for-metal approach of write now, edit later (maybe never, after looking over what the NaNo method produced).

Realistically, I’m probably not going to writer much over the next four days, but life is full of surprises and one of those surprises could be me writing stuff over the next four days. Who doesn’t love a surprise, except for maybe someone with a heart condition standing next to a giant fireworks display, not knowing it was about to suddenly explode?

NaNoWriMo 2019, Negative Day 2

Here it is, the second day of NaNoWriMo and I haven’t written a thing.

It feels great. So much time to do other stuff. I went to Costco today and bought a 20 liter jar of mayonnaise.

I am thinking I should keep up on the drawing now, because it’s fun and relaxing. But what to do? Possibilities:

  • Finish that book on learning how to sketch
  • Go back to one of the earlier Inktobers and do all of its prompts, either one per day or following whatever whimsical order I decide
  • Go back to my 2019 prompts and fix/rework the ones I’m not happy with or just try coloring all of them like Ted Turner
  • Start a gum gum person comic
  • Something else
  • Or maybe write something, just not something for NaNoWriMo

A lot of possibilities. I will choose by…tomorrow.

‘Twas the night before NaNoWriMo…

And all through the condo I was breathing a sigh of relief over not taking part this year.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to having a bunch of free time for other stuff in November. There may be a cure for my writing ills, but the last few years suggest to me that the cure is not National Novel Writing Month.

It feels a bit weird sitting out for the first time in ten years (!), but it also feels right. And nice.

Now to maybe write something without the pressure of 1,667 words per day…

Oh yeah, writing

December is a strange month. You are forced to listen to Christmas music in every store you go to, the days are short so it feel like it’s dark all the time, everything is directed toward the end of the month and Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. People take stock, buy presents, make resolutions. It’s a time to reflect, even though you can do that any time you’d like.

It’s also a bad time to lose weight because people are constantly plying you with sugary, fat-filled goodies. The short days, colder temperatures and general sogginess also discourage one from going out and exercising (hence the resolutions). In general, there is a sense of winding down, of biding time until the calendar flips over to the next year.

For me, it has always been a terrible time to write, for most of the things mentioned above. It’s like the spark that makes me write–a fragile thing most of the time–gets snuffed out all but good until the new year. It’s an excuse, really, just like any other. But it’s also very consistent.

This is a roundabout way of saying I have not yet picked up on my unfinished NaNoWriMo 2018 project. I think about it, I nibble at its edges, but I never fully commit to actually working on it again. And I even have an exciting scene next–a car crash! The only thing better would be a car chase. And dragons. But still, I balk.

I’ll work harder to get moving. If I can start even a modest amount of momentum this month, that will help all the more going into the new year. Excelsior, and all that.

NaNoWriMo 2018: The sad(ish) conclusion

I did not write 50,000 words.

I did not win.

But as mentioned in my previous NaNo post, I am still working on the novel and in a way I think it will be easier and the writing may be better without the pressure of the daily word count of NaNoWriMo hovering over everything I put down.

It is, then, both a time of regret–50,000 words would have been nice–but also a time of some hope, in that the writing will continue.

I’ll report back in a month to see how the current 22,222 word count has changed. (I make no predictions.)