NaNoWriMo- To NaNo or not to NaNo

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Writing | 1 comment

NaNoWriMo- To NaNo or not to NaNo

For everyone embarking on the NaNoWriMo journey tomorrow, both of us at Pen and Muse want to wish you luck! We wish you 30 days of literary genius and can’t wait to see you on the flipside with your fabulous new MS.

Muse Jolene will be embarking on this voyage with you. Muse Kristen is sitting this one out. That said, we wanted to share our personal reasons for participating or not participating this year.

Muse Kristen: My first Nanowrimo was a complete whim. I was in college, and I heard about it two days before the beginning. What’s a girl to do? Grab a notebook, and get writing! I learned many things about my writing process, which I believe is what Nanowrimo is about. I learned that I write better the old fashioned way, but it’s a pain in the butt to transcribe it later. I learned that switching a pen could make a world of difference in my creative flow. Most importantly, I learned that I write first and edit later, I get a lot more accomplished.

I love Nanowrimo – but I love fulfilling my own goals more. I’ve been working on my work in progress (WIP) for a little under six months. I tend to have this nasty habit of leaving writing projects as a constant work in progress – or dragging them out for years, and I’m determined to finish this one by the end of the year. According to my beloved Scrivener, I should likely finish by the end of November. Doesn’t that sound so near? That means I could take two to four weeks off, start editing, and likely be ready to start the querying process in the beginning of 2013. Sounds like a plan to me.

So while I love NaNoing…I know my own limits. I work 50 hours a week. I have a chronic illness (that I won’t discuss ever again most likely, because I prefer not to focus on that). It’s entirely better for me to focus on one thing than to split myself between two projects – no matter how drawn to the exciting Nanowrimo community I am.

Muse Jolene: The first time I participated in NaNoWriMo, I was terrified. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t plan anything out. I just tried to write by the seat of my pants (panster). You can probably guess that I didn’t finish that year. But when that was over and I participated in it the next year, I reflected on this glorious event. I realized what a great opportunity this was. Since that first year, I committed to participating every year from now on. I’d gone to write-ins and meet some amazing writers. You know our writing community. It’s amazing. I still talk to those writers I met and we support each other every year.

I had forced myself to write everyday for 30 days! I didn’t normally do that! I was used to making excuses or blaming my lack of writing on writer’s block. But now, I was writing through writers block! I came out of NaNoWriMo with great writing habits! (This is probably my favorite thing about NaNoWriMo… better writing habits). I was now used to sitting down and just writing. I didn’t judge my writing too harshly like normal; that was what editing was for.

Except for the first year, I had an awesome manuscript to show for my hard work after only one month! Sure it needed love, edits, and sometimes a swift shake, but instead of taking over a year to write a manuscript, I had one in a month. It was possible for me to write that quickly! I equate it to a runner breaking his record time or a circus performer doing a stunt that’s never been performed before. I felt dangerous and successful. I was proud and enthusiastic. I felt like a real author. Heck, I was participating alongside of a bunch of published ones. I was in the big leagues now. I could take my writing to the next level. I would challenge myself. And I’d feel good about it. So now, there’s no turning back.

And so… Good luck! Have fun with it! And remember, you can do this! If you need any help or support, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here for you! Plus. remember to check back frequently. We’ll be running a NaNoWriMo contest, giving away freebies to help, and much more.

Are you participating? Leave your NaNo username so you can connect with other writers participating. Trust us – it’s one of the best parts! If you’re looking for Muse Jolene, she is CarnieHands.

Wishing you all the NaNo-courage in the world,

Kristen Jett, Kristen Jett author, KristenJett, @KristenJett& Jolene Haley, Jolene Haley, @JoleneHaley

One Comment

  1. Oh, I loved reading this!

    Kristen – I’m SUPER excited for you! That’s awesome that you’re SO close to being done with the book. Can’t wait to read it!! If you need an early reader, let me know. :) (Btw, I have the same bad habit with writing books. Start them, don’t finish. Blah. Working on self-discipline is hard!)

    Jolene – Last year was my first year doing NaNo, and I feel like it was almost a “test” run for my writing process and how NaNo was going to work for me. I feel much more confident this year. That’s awesome that you keep coming back every year and have written some great manuscripts! :) (I added you as a buddy. My username is kristen_lorene.)


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