NaNoCoDo #13 A Writing Space and Time to Write

This is my tenth year of doing NaNoWriMo. I have written at least 50,000 words every November for the last nine years and I plan to do the same this year.

I have other commitments, other demands on my time. I have writing that’s promised to magazines, family problems, health issues, computer glitches and all the other things that get in the way of a good month’s writing. We all do. I was even packing our house ready to move one November. NaNoWriMo is all about being the one who produces 50,000 words in a month despite everything else that’s going on in your life. If it was easy, what would be the point of doing it?

One of the great benefits lies in finding out how much time you waste in a “normal” month. Ten minutes waiting for someone to get ready. Half an hour while dinner’s in the oven. An hour in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep. Yup, I’ve written in all of those timeslots. And that’s the key to NaNoWriMo.

People tend to assume that writers have a set schedule, that they type all day and then have a normal social life. The reality is often more to do with holding down a full-time job and squeezing their story into tiny snatched moments during their day. NaNo is great practice for just such a life. If you’re hoping your work will be discovered by a publisher someday, get used to the idea that you’ve got to spend the next few years earning a living in the mundane world before that happens. Sorry, but that’s reality for you!

One other useful point to NaNoWriMo is that you can use this month to train your family / friends not to interrupt when you’re writing. My long-suffering Hubby knows the dangers of speaking to me when I’m typing and he has the bite-marks to prove it. You can explain to everyone that it’s only for November – they’ll be happy to humour you for a month and then they’ll have got used to it so you can continue writing (although not as frantically) afterwards. By the time you’ve done this for thirty days, you’ll have trained yourself to write (or think about your story) at every opportunity. And your family / significant other / friends will have learnt that you’re serious about this writing lark.

You don’t need to be sitting at your favourite desk to write. You don’t have to wear your writing undies. You don’t need silence or solitude.

You’re not trying to produce deathless prose, just a novel-length piece
of work you can be proud of.

Write when you can, think about your plot when you can’t write. Hold conversations (in your head) with your characters when you’re on the bus. Make sure you take backups!

All you need is a computer, imagination and the will to succeed.

See you in December, Writers!

http://nanowrimo.org/ <<– Sign up here.

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4 Responses

  1. Good luck with NaNoWriMo. I tried 3 years ago and failed and 2 years ago I succeeded. Last year I took a break instead choosing to do the NaNo Blog thing where you try to blog every day and I managed to have my best ever blogging month (personally) without actually blogging each day, so I kind of failed and succeeded. I am busy working on a non-fiction book at the moment and I really won’t have time around work to do this this year, but I’ll certainly try again in the future no doubt at all. All the best, Jay.

    • Glad to know NaNo inspired you to push the boundaries – that’s really what it’s all about.
      Thanks for your kind wishes and all the best for your own work.
      Meg

      • Thanks I did say I failed the first time I tried NanoWriMo but I did actually get the first 36,000 words of a first draft written which i still have and plan to re-write & finish at some point so its hard to say I failed really. Ten years in a row and 50k every year is amazing. So kudos to you.

      • I prefer to count the successes – and 36,000 words is no mean feat. Even blogging more is an achievement to
        be proud of.
        I find my Inner Editor sulks all through November each year and is easier to manage the rest of the year because of that.
        NaNo is a great way to loosen up the writing, whether you reach 50,000 or not. 🙂

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