Once more unto the breach

Well, it’s the end of October and time to answer the question we all ask ourselves this time of year: How many “extra” bags of chocolate Halloween candy should I buy?

No, wait. Not that question.

This one: Should I participate In NaNoWriMo this year?nano_logo-830912ef5e38104709bcc38f44d20a0d

That is, if you’re a writer, probably you ask yourself that question. I’ve been going back and forth about this for a week or so, given that I’ve had mixed results with NaNo in the past. Setting a marathon goal of writing 50,000 words in a month — and not just any month, but November — seems a bit unreasonable. Like, stupidly masochistic. Kill-me-now foolish.

But then I figured, what’s the worst that could happen? I’ll become even more of a hermit? Give up planning nutritious meals, abandon personal hygiene, ignore the menacing accumulation of dust bunnies, forego sleep, snarl vaguely at the cat’s demands for attention . . .

. . . and maybe write a bunch of words?

I’m not normally a “write every day” kind of writer. So I’m not the best fit for NaNo, where the usual reassuring advice is to write 1,667 words a day, consistently, and you’ll be just fine. I tend to do a lot of intense thinking, composing and moving words and ideas around in my head before I commit them to paper, er, the screen. Then, when I do write, words pour out in the thousands. And then I pause again to refill the well.

Except that’s not really working for me right now. And if a thing no longer works, it’s time to try something else.


I’ve been thinking back to April and the A to Z Challenge, and how surprisingly productive I was, writing to a deadline every day like that. There wasn’t a word count requirement, but I wrote roughly 43,000 words in April. It was insane. Although, that was very different from NaNo in the respect that I also had to edit and polish and post those words every day. I won’t be doing that during NaNo, so in theory should be able to write MOAR WERDZ without the editing slowing me down. In theory.

So anyway, I bookmarked the NaNo site and made a wild guess as to what my user name was four years ago and got a new password and I’m all set to go.


Ahem. Actually, there won’t be much to see. I’ll try to post a few word count updates during the month (not daily, that’s ridiculous) in an attempt to make myself accountable over here. Wish me luck?

If any of you writers out there want to . . . follow me? . . . friend me? Huh, looks like the correct term is “be my buddy,” my user name is KD James. I’ll kick your butt be all supportive, if I can figure out how to do that without breaking anything.


What about you non-writers? Is there anything you want to accomplish in November? Some momentous task you’ve been putting off and need a little push of inspiration to get going? Let me know and I’ll cheer you on in the comments.

Oh, and the answer to that first question? Two, of course. Unless you’re doing NaNo. Then probably the answer is four. Yes, four sounds right. Four family-size bags of chocolate.



Filed under goals, writing

8 responses to “Once more unto the breach

  1. If it works, then it’s a good thing.
    If it doesn’t, what have you lost? Not much, it seems to me. You’ll most likely have broken a logjam in your mind and gotten some words on the page.

    I’m not doing Nano this year, because I’m in revision mode at the moment, deleting more words than I write. But that’s okay too.

    The downside of Nanowrimo is that some people feel like they’re supposed to do it whether it’s useful to them or not. I’ve done it a couple times, and both times I found it tremendously helpful. But that doesn’t mean I have to do it every year. That would take the fun out of it.

    Good writing!


  2. Thanks, Ev! I participated once unofficially (didn’t even make an acct) and once officially (four years ago). I agree, if you feel obligated instead of inspired there’s not much point to it. I’m actually looking forward to it this time and think it will be helpful, although I’m adding to a draft (maybe two) and not starting from scratch. It will feel like a victory to finish one or both, even if total words don’t add up to 50K. Whatever works.

    Good luck with your revision! Can’t wait to read it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cbpen

    The actual question is: How many extra bags of chocolate can I AFFORD??
    I have kicked around the other question almost every year. But November?
    I have two other friends that are going to do it. There’s a thing at the library tomorrow to help you get started. I may just walk around the edges of it.
    Good Luck!! Hope you finish both. 😉
    And good luck with your revision Miss Hill. 😉🙊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pen, I hear you on that concern. The good stuff is expensive!

    I’m pretty sure whoever picked November for this has never been in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. Or Christmas shopping. Or anything else. But I’m “lucky” this year, in that my kids and their spouses will be elsewhere for the holiday and I don’t have to cook. So that helps. I hope walking around the edges inspires you to write!


  5. Robin Berkley

    Wishing you much success with this and going to sign up myself. I’ve had it work and not work but am pushing it this year. Especially since I have to restart and rewrite the project I was working/thinking of working on that got lost when my motherboard crashed. Yeah, forgot to backup. Stupid, stupid, stupid.


  6. Robin Berkley

    I’ll get back to you with my name on NaNo once I find where I put it. That I backed up. I think.


  7. Robin, we’re still buddies from when I last did NaNo four years ago, so you’re already on my list. I’m cringing in sympathy over your computer crash! And reminding myself to back up my own work, which I haven’t done in . . . a while. Yikes. Is this the story you were posting on your blog? Because that part, at least, will still be there. *fingers crossed*


  8. cbpen

    Robin. That is one if my nightmares. I’ve been backing up pics like crazy. I need to back up other stuff too. Yikes.