Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Shhh...I've got a secret

The following is going to come as a shock to my critique partners (and probably Rocky and Kyle...and maybe even Jeff...).

I'm doing NaNoWriMo.

I didn't intend to - Lord knows I've got enough projects on the go. Admittedly, the propaganda sucked me in. 50,000 words in a month? Part of me thought NaNoWriMo might be the catalyst I need to bang off one of those "shorter" books rolling around in my head.

Except, I don't think I'm doing right.

I've added a couple thousand words on a new project (yes, another new project), and as par my usual pattern, I do like the first two chapters. But to be frank, there are about 100 projects in my desk drawer with an amazing two or three chapters.

Still, I enjoy a challenge and considered - in a moment of weakness and likely, procrastination for other half-finished WIPs - that maybe this NaNoWriMo fever would rub off on me and I'd cross the finish line of a full book just as the calendar rolled into December. Merry Christmas to me, right?

I registered myself for the challenge, even provided a snippet of author profile, and gasp, published a small excerpt from what I suspect will be a crappy attempt at a genre I don't even know I want to write. I've selected my "home region" and considered reaching out to fellow NaNoWriMo writers. Considered - but didn't.

As I closed the lid on my aging laptop last night, it occurred to me that I couldn't find one good reason to participate in NaNoWriMo. Why would I look for another community of writers for encouragement and support, when I have the cream of the crop already on my side?

Aside from my crit group - which I could speak about at nauseam with adoration - I am blessed with several writer friends with whom I can exchange pages, call on for support, or lean on for an ego boost.

And, I have an agent who has his own word count demand. As if that shouldn't be enough.

Yet, the call of NaNoWriMo still echoes with clarity. Why is that?

I'm not saying I'm going to abandon it completely - part of me still needs to understand the draw of the event, and whether completing the challenge would provide anything beyond a bit of self satisfaction. But it isn't NaNoWriMo that will keep me up all hours of the night working - it's the more meaningful challenge of meeting the expectations of the amazing community of writers I'm already fortunate enough to have on my side.


  1. Oh, I hear you about NaNo's clarion call. I'd estimate about 2/3 of my writing friends are participating, even if they know they should do otherwise. I've been tempted myself, if only to feel part of the crowd. It's what got me moving last year after a profound and depressing episode of writer's block. (Well, that and Barbara O'Neal's voice class.)

    But I need to finish something right now, not begin. For me, the advantages outweigh the benefits.

    If you can do it on top of everything else you have planned, though, go for it! More power to you.

  2. I guess being new to the writing scene I don't understand the pull. I only heard of nano this year, and have absolutly no intentions of participating. Why is it such a big thing? oh, and the stuff you said about your critique group was sweet. <3