NaNoWriMo redux

Well I did it – again. This year it took me 16 days to write a total of 50,848 words, as verified today by the Office of Letters & Light (organisers of NaNoWriMo).

This year – probably because of Twitter – I’ve noticed the backlash and the sniggers, from other writers, bloggers and the odd agent (I assume US-based) who feared her in-tray would be groaning after the ‘thanksgiving’ holiday with manuscripts from naiive NaNoers who believed by completing the challenge that they’d produced a ‘finished’ novel.

I tried not to read much of this crap – mainly because I didn’t want anything to distract me from what I was hoping to achieve – and no, my 50,848 words do not resemble a novel at all – how could they when I wrote them at the speed of light – but what I’ve come out with after only a couple of weeks is a vast creative resource from which a novel may emerge – there’s probably 20,000 words worth of scenes that connect – plus several short story ideas and quite possibly some poetry.

So, to writers I say, don’t knock it – see it as a month devoted to being creative. To bloggers who make it their business to write about the business of writing – well, carry on – say what you like about NaNoWriMo, but if it inspires young people to write (more about their Young Writers Scheme later) that can only be a good thing. To the agent who dreaded coming back to a sackload of manuscripts, don’t forget – writers are your business – without them you wouldn’t be an agent – you’d be doing something completely different. And finally, to fellow Nanoers who may be reading this – a huge YAY to those who have already finished and a GOGOGO to those who are still writing – and no, that doesn’t sound cool, but I really don’t give a sh*t!

8 Replies to “NaNoWriMo redux”

  1. Shannon says:

    really well said. I have learnt an incredible amount this month but most of all I have learnt I can do it. Parts of it were amazing and I liked my writing, parts were pure shite and unnecessary garbage. I even wrote some sex scenes! Shock horror! But I treated it as a massive freewrite with foundation.


  2. cassieopie says:

    Thanks Shannon – that’s the wonderful thing about NaNo – you have complete freedom to experiment – to write crap alongside the inspired, to find out what works and what doesn’t, and how (probably not, in my case) to write a sex scene!


  3. Penny says:

    You’re completely right. Mine is a messy first draft and I know it’s a messy first draft. But I wouldn’t have written it without Nano and now I can work on making it good for the rest of the year. Hooray for nanowrimo!


  4. cassieopie says:

    YAY Penny … roll on editing time!


  5. OpalFire says:

    Well said.
    NaNoWriMo is an amazing journey of discovery.
    Last year my novel was not good and still languishes under the bed collecting dust.
    This year the novel is more cohesive and whilst it is far from perfect it is a decent foundation to work from.


  6. cassieopie says:

    So we’re all doing it next year are we?!


  7. Tracy says:

    I managed to complete this amazing feat in 16 days. Never would I have managed that without nanowrimo, I would have procrastinated forever, telling myself I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t capable, I’m not a writer etc all the things all novice writers experience . It has been an emotional, hard, exhilerating, tiring experience but I would not have missed it! I too am fully aware I don’t have a novel there, but I am sure there are a few areas at least that I can work with and turn into something more worthwhile.


  8. cassieopie says:

    It was amazing watching you do it and it takes a lot to achieve that. I think that’s where so many who criticise miss the point, failing to realise how much writing experience can be accrued in such a short space of time and whatever you do with it (the writing) next, that experience is invaluable.


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