NaNo 2012 Begins This Week

Nano Participant 2012This classifies as an announcement, a warning, and a commitment. It’s almost November, that month that I participate in the zany writing challenge that is NaNoWriMo (or the National Novel Writing Month) where writers across the globe, and of all ages and dispositions, join together to produce words in great quantity and get over whatever barriers stand in their way. My posts are likely to become sporadic, or more plentiful, depending what fodder this year offers.

This isn’t just for beginners either. It’s a good way to learn new techniques, adapt to deadlines, explore a different genre, or use the wave of creative energy to push past a stumbling block. There are a lot of naysayers who gather around at this time to mock and condemn participants. What they fail to realize is this process produces a rough draft, nothing more. No one is saying (well, except for a deluded few) that what is written during NaNo is ready for the limelight. But the only page that can’t be edited, polished, and improved is a blank one. NaNo makes sure those blank pages fill with words spelling out a tale, describing a world, or even documenting a truth.

So, are you up for a challenge? Are you going to join in and see what you can do given endless support and encouragement? The full information is here:

I am signed up as MarFisk (and have been since 2003). I’ve had good years, I’ve had struggling ones, and though I’ve made my 50,000 every year, sometimes it’s been by the skin of my teeth. I work as a freelancer, so my available time is constrained by the contracts I have going as is my creative energy. If I need it for a job, it goes there first. Different people have different barriers, and 50,000 might be out of reach for a variety of reasons, but that’s no reason not to try.

Some things you can gain from participating:

1) Getting a clearer understanding of how you work, whether you try outlining, seat of your pants, writing in the morning, night, at a coffee shop, etc…
2) Meeting local writers (there are regions on the NaNo site that put you in contact with others who are participating).
3) Finding writing friendly places (as a side benefit to the local writing groups).
4) A break from the isolation writing can bring.

There are other ways in which NaNo can be a good thing. The rules are strict, but many organizations such as Forward Motion offer the camaraderie without holding people to the NaNo rules, something that opens NaNo to completing existing projects, though the NaNo rules may have become more flexible as it has grown.

To be honest, my participation on the NaNo site is minimal. Other people find much more there, but I have support through Forward Motion and other groups. I signed up once I moved to Reno for the sole reason of meeting local writers. It worked, and each year I meet more. One of my good friends came through a NaNo group back in Fremont. At this point, though, signing up is more a habit, and a good one.

How about you? Are you going to NaNo this year? And if you have in previous years, what’s one of the things NaNo provided?

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17 Responses to NaNo 2012 Begins This Week

  1. I’ll be there in spirit without signing up this year but doing a sort of NaNo, in that my writing partner and I aim to write the first four 25k novellas of our new 8-novella SF series during November.

    Good luck with your NaNo, Margaret! 🙂

  2. Shani says:

    I did nano for the first time back in 2010 I think it was. Boy did I have a blast what a Last year I didn’t do very well and ended up getting so frazzled by everything I dropped out. But this year is going to be different. I miss the challenge of just writing and writing as much as you can in a short amount of time. Some folks don’t like that kinda challenge and feel it wrecks their work. Me I don’t think so, I think it makes it more fun and interesting plus you never know what you are gonna end up with in the end. Which is something I like alot.

    • Margaret McGaffey Fisk says:

      Since I write through world immersion, writing fast is a good thing :). After all, spend too much time in an alternate universe and you might not ever get back. Just ask Persephone about pomegranates :).

      I normally spill out a first draft in 2-3 months. One month is a wee bit faster, but the people make it fun.

  3. Erin says:

    Hmm. I’ll bet Sheila produces more than 50k during any given month that she doesn’t edit afterward . . . (Yes, I find the word “deluded” annoying. Not everyone has the same work habits.)

    In other news — HEY! I got e-mail notification of this post!

    • Margaret McGaffey Fisk says:

      Yay! JetPack put out a patch, so I’m hoping that’ll fix all the notification issues.

      Okay, maybe deluded is too strong a word, but Sheila has editors who edit for her :). And I was talking about the whole of the words produced, not the individuals. Still, the point being that it’s not about throwing junk out on the market, it’s about producing a base.

  4. Linda says:

    I’m doing NaNo this year. I ditched most of my chaotic, stressful job. So I have both time and creative energy. I think I may even be able to make 50K.

  5. Shani says:

    Erin we all have our quirky words that we don’t
    Especially if they are misspelled, mis pronounced.

  6. Shani says:

    LOL I’m neurotic about that Margaret. I check and check and check before I sent in those

    Me thinks me needs

    • Margaret McGaffey Fisk says:

      Me too usually. And I choose to reply using browsers that check spelling. My sister used to be the first to read my posts and she’d email me any issues and I’d rush to fix them. But she hasn’t done that in a bit. I don’t know if I’m missing less or I’m no longer interesting enough ;).

  7. Shani says:

    I’d vote that you are improving.

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