. . . And I’m not talking Halloween (which, by the way, I have not one, but TWO costumes for; on Saturday, I’m heading to a party with my pal Liz Maverick, and will be dressed as Bea Arthur‘s Maude, which only takes me making my hair gray somehow, since I already have the loud ’70s clothing. Then on Sunday, my son is a samurai, so I’m borrowing a Japanese geisha type top from Liz and will be making myself even whiter than usual in a vague attempt to match him).

No. I am admitting that, for the first time, I’ve signed on to participate in NaNoWriMo, the month-long write 50K words in 30 days event. Why? Why would I do such a thing? Peer pressure. And not even pressure; my friend Kwana said she was gonna, and why didn’t I? Not really pressure so much as a simple question.

So I joined up. And am hoping not to disgrace myself and fail utterly at the task. I already know I won’t write fifty thousand words, but I am hoping the competition will get me to the keyboard rather than waving my hand and saying, ‘why bother?’

I am competitive, in an odd way, and if I know other people are suffering with their word counts it’ll make me feel better (very sschadenfreude-y of me, but I admit my faults).

Plus a newly-made friend (at RWA, but she lives here in Park Slope) told me there are NaNoWriMo write-ins in my neighborhood, so maybe I can go hang out with other sufferers at some point. Whee!

Are you good with deadlines? Do you like the pressure? Do you hate them? How do you force yourself to get things done on time?


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Elena Greene
12 years ago

Hey, Megan, good luck with NaNo! I did it for several years and had a blast. There is something so fun about watching that NaNoMeter keep going up! Childish maybe, but it works for me. Hope you have a great time with it.

I would do it this year if I weren’t focused on finishing a half-done manuscript, which would be against NaNo rules.

12 years ago

Yay on the NaNoWriMo!! Will you buddy with me? cjewel is my id.

12 years ago

I’ve thought about doing NaNoWriMo, but I’m afraid I’d balk at the deadline, and end up writing nothing at all, with a rather juvenile hrmph and “you can’t make me.” LOL!

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

I am SO on the fence about this. I want to do it, but I have this HUGE fear of embarrassing myself. I have just finished my third manuscript and sent it off to my agent. I already have another manuscript ready to start. I’ve done the prelim work, etc. I just don’t know!!!

12 years ago

I am good with deadlines – but like gambling, where I won’t ever gamble unless it’s on a certainty, I won’t commit to a deadline unless I know I can do it. I won’t do Nano, because for me it’s a Licence to Fail, and I need to keep on with my 1000 words a day and not get discouraged. That way I write two plus 80k word novels a YEAR, which is way better than one 50 k novel in November.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Louisa, really, what can you lose? you are in a perfect position to do NaNoWriMo

I’m more like Judy. If I sign up for a challenge, I’m likely to find organizing my sock drawer suddenly essensial. Luckily, I just got my revisions, so I need to work on those. No new writing for me

Megan, Carolyn, and Kwana, I wish you luck, but mostly I hope you enjoy the freedom of just writing and not editing yourselves!! I’ll be rooting for you!

Elena Greene
12 years ago

Louisa, I say go for it. It doesn’t really matter if you make the 50K or not. I made it two of the three years I tried, and got some good raw material to edit later. The third year I felt it was the right decision to stop and fix a plot problem. That was OK, too.

The point is to have fun, write freely and generate ideas.

Also, in case you didn’t know, you can encrypt your manuscript before having the wordcount verified. So no one will read it. I never show first drafts to anyone, not even my best and most-trusted critique partner. Too scary!

Jane Austen
12 years ago

Megan, I might sing up too although I hope I don’t have to write 50,000 words on one thing. I’m working on a novel, a screenplay, a stage play, and I think some poetry based off of paintings. The poetry started from looking at a Renoir painting of a couple dancing and thinking “I learned to dance from Renoir” which I think could be fun.

As for getting your hair grey….buy some baby powder and put that in your hair. I had to do it for a play I was in during college. I’m pretty sure you have dark hair and it works much better with dark hair than blonde, but pretty painless doesn’t involve dye and it washes out just fine.

Jane Austen
12 years ago

I meant sign up….no one and I mean no one wants to hear me sing.

Megan Frampton
12 years ago

Baby powder! Great idea, thanks!

And thanks to all you encouragers, and I did manage to add Carolyn to my buddy list, effectively doubling it (her and Kwana, that’s all).

Not sure if I’m going to abide by the rules, since I want to work on something I’d put aside, but it will be incentive to work during the month of November.

12 years ago

My experience with NaNo last year was fabulous. Writing my novel without editing it at the time broke the proverbial dam. This after I hadn’t written much in ten years. When I started NaNo last year I figured that the worst thing that could happen was that even if I didn’t make 50K, I would have more words on the page when I started. I did make 50K and I wrote another novel this year and some short pieces as well.

I found the word count update to be motivating and the camaraderie, both online and in person, to be inspiring. But, more importantly, I learned a lot about how I write, about trusting my instincts, and shutting down my editor so I can get the job done. I wrote when I was tired. I wrote when I was sick. I wrote when I was overwhelmed, lost, and frustrated. I couldn’t run away from myself as a writer as long as I wanted that ticker to keep going up. And I did. 🙂

Some of the writing was awful, of course, but some of it was good. It has good bones: it just needs a lot of work. That’s okay, now that it exists, I can fix it. My goal in December and January is to edit last year’s NaNo as well as the book I wrote in between.

Really, in my opinion, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by trying it. If nothing else, new experiences, writing practice, and friendly new acquaintances!

12 years ago

I’m not good at all with deadlines I am always putting things off until the last minute.then i have to ruch to get things done.

Jane George
12 years ago

I totally tanked NaNo last year.

This year I’m doing it “unofficially,” which should trick me nicely, and I needn’t worry that the project I’m working on is already started.

I can’t turn off my edit function, but I can turn off my edit-it-to-death button. 🙂

Good luck everybody!!!

12 years ago

Oooh! This will be my third attempt. I’d love to add some more people to my buddy list (once I go sign in).

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