NaNoWriMo (or… what in the hell am I doing?)

Posted: October 28, 2010 in Uncategorized, Writing

First of all, let me apologize to the few people who read this.  I have been quite remiss in posting here – mostly because I’ve been perusing other blogs and looking for entertainment (how selfish of me!) and not reciprocating.

Really, my Mother taught me better.  I don’t know where my manners went.  Probably the same place all my missing socks have went gone.

November 1 marks the start of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  It’s been going on for a long time.  About 10 years ago I signed up to do it but didn’t.  I mean I didn’t even TRY – suddenly it was December and I realized I totally forgotten the whole thing.

The next year I tried.  That time I even got a few things going and wrote three chapters and then – nothing.

I don’t have a very good track record with this. However, that didn’t stop me from signing up this year (last minute of course) and deciding that this was the year I was going to succeed.

There are a lot of stories bumping around inside my head.  However I am not good at outlining AND I am anal-retentive when it comes to edit/revisions/reviewing.

Take my second attempt at NaNoWriMo.  I was going along fine but decided mid-chapter three, to change some names.  Most people would make a note at that spot and move on.  Not me.  I had to go all the way back and find/replace all the names – then go back and fix other things I found.

To coin a phrase: Lots of splashing, very little swimming going on.  That would sum up my writing.

I know part of it is my lack of outlining skills.  I’ve had wonderful friends (Jean Rabe and Elizabeth Vaughn) let me go over their own outlines and give me tips, hints, help.

But I would sit down and draw a blank.

Lamenting this to friends I got more advice – but in the end Mike Stackpole was right.  An outline is like a map for a road trip – you may not follow it exactly, but you need it to make sure  you get from A to B (okay, this isn’t exactly what he said but that’s what I got from it).

So, after all this – failure (call it what you will, maybe failure is a harsh word but I didn’t succeed in my endeavors and failure pretty much covers not succeeding) I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel on writing.  I still had stories and characters in my head but they’d be my personal entertainment – should I ever get stuck on a deserted island (hopefully in a tropical climate and no dinosaurs or zombies or the like to disturb my very active imagination).

Then, I was reading my blogs and came across Shanna’s  NaNoWirMo site, and her entry on logging, which lead me to some very interesting blogs by Arleen Barros and Tami Moore.

Suddenly I was filled with hope, inspiration and a strong need to get my butt to the office supply store to pick up some post-it flags.

I am hoping that I will be able to get some semblance of an outline going before the 1st.

Wish me luck :0)


  1. Luck, luck, luck, all coming your way! You’re going to be amazing!

  2. Annette says:

    Thank you both!!! You’re both awesome as hell for sharing!~!

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