Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Why NaNo Isn't Really For Me


My participation in NaNoWriMo this month has taught me something. NaNo isn't designed for people like me. I fast draft—sometimes writing crazy amounts of words in a single day. I finished my 50,000 words on November 7th, but NaNo won't let me verify my word count and ultimately win because I achieved that word count too soon. What?!?!?!? I can't wrap my head around that.

So now, I can't earn all my badges, like writing every day this month. I almost feel like I'm being penalized for writing too quickly. And that's crazy! I wrote the entire book in seven days! Of course I won! But yet, I didn't according to NaNo. So I've decided to cheat. Yup. I'm cheating and working on another novel and adding that to my word count. This book is one I started last year and had to put aside. I'm editing for clients right now and so far I've only been writing about 1,500-2,500 words a day on this book. But still, even if I continue to write until November 30 (though I highly doubt the book will take that long to finish) I won't get my badge for writing every day this month. I guess I should have read up on NaNo before I decided to join in on the fun, because I'm going to have two completed novels by the end of the month and I still don't feel good about it.

I most likely won't participate in NaNo again. It's just not designed for me. It's making me feel like a failure even though I've already won, and let's face it. This industry is hard enough on our egos. I don't need this on top of it.

Anyone else find that NaNo makes you feel bad instead of encouraging you to write more? 

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

28 comments:

  1. I don't think you're a failure. I wish I could draft that quickly. Nano doesn't (always) work for me because I tend to stop and start with my writing, partly because things occur to me as I'm writing and characters sometimes go off at a tangent, but also because I have a busy, full life.

    Congratulations on your NaNo wordcount and progress.

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    1. I guess I just wish NaNo would accommodate for different types of writers. Why do we have to write every day if we are still hitting the target word count?

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  2. I have a question. In your opinion, does writing from first person perspective limit the amount of description you can use (of surroundings, characters, etc)? Thanks.

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    1. Great question, Fi. I'll tackle this next Wednesday.

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    2. Brilliant. I'll look out for that.

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  3. I've never done it. November's too busy a month for me otherwise to take on something else.

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    1. My daughter is off from school a lot this month, so that really affects me being able to write every day.

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  4. NaNo isn't for me either. It puts all this pressure on and then the muse goes away. I'm better writing without the expectation.

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    1. Yeah, I really doubt I'll ever officially participate again.

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  5. I wish I can draft as fast as you. I'm a slow writer so NaNoWriMo is good for me because it helps me to get a head start on the novel I'll continue to work on later. Besides, I haven't done NaNoWriMo with the intent to 'win' since I first started taking part in it. I do it to get as many words as possible. And to finally start the process of turning a story idea into a book.

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    1. It's a great concept, but not designed the best. I think they could make some adjustments to accommodate all kinds of writers.

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  6. Sorry your NaNo wasn't as pleasant as you would have liked. I think you won it twice! Treat yourself and congrats!

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    1. Well, I haven't finished book two yet, but hopefully I will by the end of the month.

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  7. NaNoWriMo was definitely not designed for super fast drafters who need no impetuous to write. I also know it isn't for me, because I know my rhythm and don't need an external push. I also know that, for me, writing faster is not writing better, and I care most about writing better.
    Stephen King said he wrote one of his novels in one week, and the word count on that novel is equal to three NaNoWriMo novels. Fair to say it isn't for him, either.

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  8. That's terrible! What are they trying to say, that being overly productive is a bad thing? :(

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  9. You're not a failure--you're a superhero in the writing world! NaNo doesn't work well for chapter book writers, either--our books are 8,000-10,000 words! Middle grade can fit, since most of mine are around 40,000. Good idea to keep going. I think you should contact them and suggest there be a special award for those who reach the finish line quickest, along with allowing you to count it in the first place. What's the earliest date you can finish, by their rules?

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    1. According to them, we can verify and win beginning on November 20th. I finished on November 7th though, so my word count has been held against me since then. :( I probably should try suggesting ways they can accommodate fast drafters better.

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  10. I did NaNo once, then never again. I write about the same way- huge chunks at once, then I may go a week in between the next chunk of word count. But I'm always thinking on it in between...does that count?

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  11. Just stopping by to say congrats on your latest release!!!

    And I'm right there with you. I didn't participate in NaNo this year, mostly because i had a few other obligations that took precedence, but I vowed to do other writerly related work this month. And that's exactly what I've been up to. :)

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  12. Never mind what NANO thinks. You finished the book and are starting another! That's the real victory.

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  13. Hi Kelly - I read about your grandfather over at Crystal's and wanted to call in and wish you well this Thanksgiving ... you will have lots of sorrow, yet masses of happy memories to call on ...

    NaNo - I've never been fond of the idea .. but well done on writing up two books ... ready to be finalised ..

    Cheers and with thoughts to you this Thanksgiving - Hilary

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    1. Hilary, thank you so much for stopping by. The fact that you would think to come offer condolences to a perfect stranger says so much about your character. The world needs more people like you, and please know that your kindness brightened my day.

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    2. Hi Kelly - glad we've connected and I managed to get back here ... i.e. found the right post where I previously commented.

      Have a peaceful day tomorrow ... it's never easy losing a loved one - wishing you well ... Hilary

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