Friday, October 29

Posted by Laurel Garver on Friday, October 29, 2010 28 comments
The interwebs are all abuzz with the approach of November, which for many will mean NaNoWriMo: an intense 30 days of drafting something completely new, very fast, with built-in support and accountability. Intense bursts can be a wonderful thing for getting a draft underway, and if you're the sort that can schedule that kind of intense creativity, kudos to you.

There are a few alternate November support/accountability groups forming for those not starting a draft from scratch.

Sara McClung is gathering writers needing an intense burst to wrap up a manuscript in progress. It's called NaNoWraMo. Go check out her site to learn more.

I've heard buzz from many quarters about spending the month revising, or NaNoRevMo. If anyone knows who's spearheading support/accountability for this, let me know in the comments.

For me, it's going to be NaNo-No. This is simply not the time to disappear from my family. Fall never is. My husband has an insane teaching load--165 students this semester, with a grading load that would make you weep. My daughter's teacher called this AM to discuss all the emotional problems hobbit girl is having at school. I can't help but think a lot more Mommy time would do her some good.

It's all about balance. I plan to go on querying my finished book and continue researching and drafting my second. I'll be blogging as I'm able and baking more cookies, building more forts, taking more hikes and playing more board games.

Anyone else saying "no" to NaNo this year? Want to be my buddy? What shall we call ourselves?


  1. I'd love to be your buddy!

    I am saying no to NaNo. I am in the middle of my second book and want to NaNoFi(nish)Mo (Although NoNoWraMo sounds much better.)

    I am revising the last 70 pages of my finished novel today, hoping to send it out Nov 1 then I'll throw my energy into FiMo, and cooking and baking and celebrating my birthday and Thanksgiving etc.

  2. I've said no to NaNo! I'm still weeding through word vomit from last year's "success." I'll be your buddy!!

  3. I'll be your buddy! All these NaNo posts make me feel guilty, like I should be participating. Ironically, my plan in November IS to work on my new novel (research is complete, everything plotted) but I'm not comfortable approaching it with the "many words, any words" mindset. Plus, I've just taken on a big freelance job, and I'm in the midst of writing a new serial. So it's not the right time for me to say I'll focus exclusively on anything.

    I like NaNoNo!

  4. I'm doing NaNo, but I don't have kids. So I definitely have a lot more time! I must take advantage of it while I can now, right?!

    Have a terrific November! I'm coming to your house when I need a break for some of those cookies and fun fort building, lol!

  5. It IS about balance. And I think NaNo would be too much stress, and not worth what might end up on the page!!!

    Support your husband and daughter. That's most important!

  6. Y2: (loving that nickname!) Goodie! I'm thinking I'll create some kind of badge over the weekend for the NaNo-Noers. :-) And Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I hate that it always gets short shrift.

    Nicole: Hooray. We just need a snazzy name for our buddy group.

    Jenna: Exactly! Guilt is a creativity killer. Good luck with your freelance job and serial.

  7. Laura: absolutely! I'm not at all pooh-poohing the idea. I just know this isn't the time for me to hop on board, and I suspect others were also looking for an alternative thing to join. I'm going for "balance month." But I wish you all the best in your draft frenzy.

    Ann: nothing like that phone call to give me permission to pursue writing less intensely for a bit. Poor hobbit girl. It's hard being 8--the social rules start getting much more complex.

  8. I tried NaNo last year and learned REALLY fast that it's not the exercise for me. I'll join you! We can be the NaNoNoNo's.

  9. I don't do NaNo either. Since a complete book for me is 12,000 (give or take a few), 50,000 is waaaaaay out of my league. :-)

  10. I think I'm doing NaNo unofficially. I have to finish my WIP so I can't play by their rules but I could sure use the word count.

  11. I think we should call it NaNoNo. I'm not doing it either, because I have loads of other things demanding my attention.

  12. I won't be doing Nano. I'll be polishing in order to query at some point. And I've started a new wip. But I'd rather go at my normal pace! and I have to put my kids first, which I wouldn't if I were trying to writer 50K in one month!

  13. JEM: even if family life were different, I suspect I'd crash and burn with all that pressure.

    Shannon: that would be SEVERAL picture books, wouldn't it?

    T.Anne: Sara's wrap-up month might be a good fit for you if you're looking for a buddy. See the link earlier in his post.

    Talli: I'm wondering if we can come up with a fun name with positive connotations. Something about "balance" or "self-care" or "filling up."

  14. Hi Laurel - Oh, the forts. My kids love those too. We build ours using the table in our informal dining, sheets and blankets. It's one of those high tables so we can all sit under it. What do you use?

    Hiking sounds fun too.

  15. Hmmm . . . so how close do you live? Those cookies sound yummy! And November does seem like a family month what with Thanksgiving and all. Maybe some year I'll be in a place to do NaNo anything, but I'm not there yet (and doubt I will be for a while).

  16. I think I'm going to join you! I have a new work schedule - 4 on 4 off ... those 4 days off will hurt me if I try to write 50K in a month. Plus, I'm the type to edit as I go so that when my novel is completed, after one round of edits, I can send it off to betas. But my goal is to write on the days I'm off work (while scheduling around 3 kidlets). Count me in!

  17. Laura P: Sounds like you're in for my "balance" scheme, too. Excellent!

    RaShelle: Usually it's the sectional sofa that becomes hobbit girl's lair. But she has built some exceptionally complicated structures elsewhere in the house using floor lamps and chairs and under-bed boxes and what have you.

  18. Janet: I'm in Philly, so were like 3 hours apart? I agree with not wanting to ruin my beloved Thanksgiving, best holiday EVAH. Glad to hear you're on Team NaNo-No.

    Steena: Splendid. I just need a really spiffy, positive-sounding name for us. All I've come up with so far is NaBalWriMo--national balanced writers month, in which we have less guilt and more fun!

  19. This sounds like a great idea. It's easy to get caught up in the NaNo crazy and forget the most important things in our lifes--our families. While I have the goal to write 50,000 words next month, I'm not knocking myself out to do it. :D

  20. I'm with you! Nano-No for me. ;) I'm currently exchanging with a beta reader and focusing on what I need to edit in my current MS before querying in a few short months. That combined with my busy day job doesn't leave me enough time to do NaNo. But I admire those that do fit it into their schedules. Enjoy your time with your family!

  21. I'm Team NaNo-No! I did NaNo last year, and it was rough. And I ended up with 50K words of drivel that I have no desire to ever look at again, much less revise. Nice to know I could do it, but that's about all I gained. I applaud the people who can do it and walk away with a revisable ms, though.

    I do like the idea of a focused period of writing/revising. So I've set a goal date to have my novel polished, sparkly, and out on the query circuit. It's just not 12/1. :)

  22. I'm revising in preparation for submission, so count me in. Like the idea of NaNoRevMo :)


  23. No NaNo for me either. I'm using the month to catch up on a few projects - which hopefully will involve some actually writing on a work in progress, though not the the NaNo depth.

    Looking forward to your posts Laurel.


  24. I did NaNo last year and am still working on revising that novel. So I've opted not to do it this year. It was fun, and I learned a lot about how you can find more inside yourself when you think you can't. But I'm all about the rewrite at the moment. I'll check Sara's site. Thanks for the link.

  25. I've never done Nano, for the reasons you mention. It's such a busy time in America, with Thanksgiving, fall sports, all the stuff the kids do in school, getting ready for Christmas, etc. I believe the person who started Nano was British (but I'm not sure), on the assumption that Fall is a down time and people need something to do.

    This person obviously doesn't have any trees in their backyard, either.

    Personally, if I had to vote, I would pick January. I find it very dark and depressing after the holidays are over, and would love to have something else to focus on.

    I am going to try to make some progress on my revisions. But this new job is killing my energy and creativity, so I'm not putting too much pressure on myself.

    Great post!

  26. Is there a website or forum where people who want to revise for the month of Nov? I'd be all over that!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  27. Stina: I'm just too fried to attempt NaNo, but I like your attitude--I'll try to have a productive month, but not kill myself doing it. So sane!

    Shelley: When you're on a revisions roll, you've gotta go with the flow. Best of luck with the process!

    Karen: Your story is precisely what i fear, since I have an overwriting tendency anyway. Revision deadlines help a lot. Mine came in the form of an agent contacting me out of the blue. She eventually passed on the project, but I still feel immensely grateful for the positive push to finish my rewrites.

  28. Rachael: I've heard that from lots of people. I'd say try googling NaNoRevMo and see if anyone has set up a forum yet.

    Donna: sounds lovely and oh-so sane.

    Christine: Ah, yes, the winter doldrums would be a better time. Though I'm usually pretty burned out after christmas. February would be my pick, though with a lower word count.

    Angela: You're probably the best positioned to spearhead it with your huge blog following. I'll totally send folks your way if you decide to be the forum hostess. Good luck with your revisions!