Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November IWSG : how do YOU NaNo?

Greetings and welcome to the monthly posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our goal is to encourage and inspire each other as well as hold the hands of anyone and everyone experiencing hard times in the writing world. We've all been there and we all need a hand to hold. The IWSG was started by our fearless Ninja leader, Alex Cavanaugh.

Unless you've been hidden away in a cellar or out traveling with the Doctor, you know that November is National Novel Writing Month. EVERYONE it seems is writing a novel or attempting one. Between November 01 and 30 you'll find groups of writers scribbling and typing away in coffee shops and book stores everywhere.

I missed last year but decided to sign up for 2015. I haven't posted an update and I just started writing yesterday. Some would say I was already 3 days behind and over 5,000 words late. But I realized something this year: NaNo is what YOU want it to be. Sure I've done the race for 50,000 words. I've even DONE 50,000 words in a month three times. It's hard, it's exhilarating and, when you "win", it's triumphant!

This year, though, I had a different approach. I've been working on a nonfiction project for a year now. It started as a way to uncover memories from my childhood and turned into a gathering of craft projects, recipes and memories of past holidays. It's fun and I'm enjoying it. I decided I'd use NaNo to get as far as I can in the second draft of this project. No, it's not a novel. I'm not even sure if the outline and summary I have will add up to 50,000 words when all is said and done. But I've made my choice and my goal and I'm going for it.

If you've decided to compete in the NaNoWriMo Challenge, GO FOR IT!! Grab those word counts and see just what you're made of. It's fun to do it, the Challenge Way at least once. You really find out just how you write best. But for those of you on the fence, or those of you who have been afraid of NaNo, here's my little ray of sunshine for you. Go ahead and sign up. You don't have to post any word counts unless you WANT to. The NaNo Gestapo won't show up for regular updates. As far as I know, one doesn't exist. The reason I signed up is so I'd have something to focus on and something to check my own progress against. That's all.

Maybe I'll make that 50,000. Maybe I won't. The point is to set MY goal and go for THAT. Goals are important, but remember they are YOUR goals. Unless you're writing for a publisher, then flexibility is required. But until then, use whatever works for YOU to get YOUR work done!

Happy writing!!


  1. Good for you! And best of luck with NaNoWriMo! :)

    Shah X

  2. Setting your own NaNo goals is perfectly acceptable. It is all about what you want to accomplish.

  3. Yes! Make Nano work for you, not the other way around. Way to go with your project and happy writing!

  4. Great attitude! I am doing NaNo, too. It's going very well, but I may have to stop at some point because I'm expecting comments from my editor on a book I'm releasing in the I'm doing my best and writing like crazy while I can. Mostly, I'm having fun with it! It's when people start believing in the "NaNo Gestapo" (love that) that they get into trouble.

    Best of luck to you!

  5. Best of writing to you! I won't participate, but my daughter (a very talented writer) is/will give it a shot this year!

  6. I'm trying not to think of myself as behind, as well. I mean, I have 2600 words I didn't have before and a better idea of the world of my novel. This one has been percolating for years, so it's about time I allow it to bubble to the surface. Thanks for the encouragement!

  7. Hey Jen, after participating in NaNo for yonkers, I've learned to make it work for me. November is the month I write EVERY day, even if I only get 100 words down. I'm hoping to complete the first drafts of my next two books in my recently-published paranormal series. I usually pick up the pace after the halfway mark when my story starts making sense.

    Here's to a successful month of writing!

    Hi Carrie! Well, I can't imagine sacrificing my bed for office space, so you must have been desperate! But if it's so important to you that's a good decision. I do most of my writing at various cafes. That's where I find stimulus. Different sorts of distractions to what I have at home. (My study is too small, but I'm getting a good-sized one built soon!) Methinks I'll still pop off to cafes, tho'.

    Denise Covey November co-host IWSG

  8. Congratulations on your bravery to tackle NaNo. I've never been so brave, I'm determined for next year! Good luck!

  9. I did the challenge back in 2008 or so and it was a great feeling, for sure! You go!!! I have to do two proposals this month, so I'll need NaNo after one of those two is approved--probably January!

  10. Shah: Thanks and good luck to you as well!!

    Anna: Best of luck! Here's to a shiny new novel in December :)

    Alex: I agree. It makes the process that much more enjoyable. Good luck with the new stories!

    Tyrean: Thanks for stopping by! Thank you so much :)

    Nadine: LOL! The NaNo Gestapo! I haven't heard that one yet but it fits. Thanks for stopping by and best of luck with your project!

    Susan: Thank you and best of luck to your daughter!

    Jodi and Jesse: You're welcome. Just enjoy the process and the extra words you DO get written. Thank you for stopping by!

    Denise: I like that idea. My goal has always been to write every day and yet I seem to never be able to! I think it's because I tend to try to go after too many things. I have split creative personalities and I'll focus on writing for a while and then crafting for a while. Honestly, I'm busy now attempting to find a way to marry the two and still find time to write novels and stories. Thanks for stopping by and thanks again for co-hosting!

    Donna: Thank you! You should give it a try at least once. It's quite an experience and the community is fantastic!

    Stephanie: Best of luck on the proposals! That's wonderful!! Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement.

  11. Hi Jen!

    Work at your own pace!
    Either way, you are a winner for simply attempting NaNoWriMo!
    Go for it!

  12. Glad to see that you're writing and setting your own goals. Any writing is time well spent. I need to get back to my play.


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