Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Kick in the Pants Like No Other

I did it. I signed up for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) this November. I have a user name and a password. I actually agreed to write 50,000 words -- a first draft of a book -- in one month. I need a kick in the pants to get me out of my writing rut. And I have a plan.

First, I must admit that I am a terrible typist. I have to look at the keyboard and I still make a ton of mistakes. I virtually always type teh instead of the. And I cannot stop myself from correcting mistakes as I go. Coupled with a background on business writing on deadline -- it's got to sound good very quickly -- I find myself unable to move forward until each sentence is right. This leads to some ferociously slow fiction.

So how can I break free of my long-nurtured writing habits and spill out 50,000 words in one month? I'll sketch out a few main characters and a loosely-woven plot, and then break out the marble notebooks. When I write in longhand, I can let the words flow without instant editing. Maybe it's some deep-rooted inverse connection to nuns and Palmer Method, but in longhand I can free-write. In front of a keyboard, too much thinking clogs up the creativity.

I will not, however, totally deny my anal side for one month. I plan to free-write first thing in the morning, and then type it all out in the evening, when I will allow myself time to edit my longhanded muse.

So can I do it? I hope so. Anybody want to join me? Here's the link for more info:


  1. I was thinking of doing this too! Not sure though, my kick in the pants is to edit my current WIP. Maybe it's time to multi-task...Good Luck!!

  2. Holy writer's block, Batman!

    I'm impressed and intrigued.

    I'd consider doing it....but Thanksgiving is in November?!

  3. Good luck, Judy! I'm a PB writer so I generally do all my writing in notebooks first. My first was in one of my son's Spiderman notebook that I somehow ended up with!

  4. Kelly, I've been known to write in my kids' leftover notebooks, too. But to start off Nanowrimo, I've picked the perfect marble-bound style -- but in herringbone! It makes me happy just to look at it. But will I still be happy to look at it by November 8th or 9th?

    Robin and Meg -- come on, join me!

  5. This sounds like the best diet ever--no time to eat. Seriously, love the idea. Can't wait to hear what happens. I hope you can make the kick-off party, Judy. Sounds like there could be one in Morristown this weekend. Best of luck to you. Could you imagine completing a novel in November, submitting it in December, and having it accepted by a publisher in January? Go girl!

  6. Admire your joining this extravaganza, Judy. Congrats and barrels of luck (or words)!

    It would be a straight shot to the loony bin for me. Because I write short stuff, I agonize over every word.

  7. Congrats on taking the plunge! This is my first year doing Nano too!

    I'll see you around Nano land! :0)

    My nano user name is ChristyRE if you want to look me up and be buddies!


  8. So cool that you're taking the plunge, Judy and Christy. It sounds like a wonderful challenge! (Maybe some year when I'm not in my third trimester... At least I'm back to creating new poems for my collection. Hurray!)

  9. I need to know more! I'm really tempted.
    What happens if I don't/can't do it?
    What happens to the short magazine piece I'm working on?

  10. Christy -- I will definitely "buddy" you. I'm Judy P at nano.

    Meg -- If you don't finish, you don't finish. But you are farther aong than if you hadn't started at all! I think last year's stats were over 100,000 signed up and around 15,000 finished. The way I look at it, it's no crime if you can't write 50,000 words in a month, but it's a challenge worth trying.

  11. I'm stll on the fence. I have an idea mapped out, but for me it's more a timing thing. The responsible thing is to stick with my current project. I hate being responsible!

    I saw your post at Verla's and hopped over. I think it's a great idea to have a blog for your crit group--awesomeness!

  12. Good luck making your decisions, Meg and Angela!

    Angela, I totally identify with the desire not to do the responsible thing. I've discovered that I'm most energized as a writer when I'm working on several manuscripts as once. That way when I "goof off" on one, I'm actually being productive on another one!

  13. Umm, Judy, I've got no business joining this...I've got a wedding weekend in NJ...that little holiday called off for various national holidays...BUT

    I took the plunge. WTF am I thinking???

  14. This is my first year in Nano too. Good luck to you!