Saturday, October 16, 2010

The NaNo Problem

Okay, let's talk NaNoWriMo.

I'm dying to participate in NaNo this year. The more people who sign up, and the more people I hear talking about it, the more I just really want to do it. But I just don't think it's the best idea for me right now.

I'm a Libra, so that means I'm pretty much incapable of making a decision. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of asking me, "So, what do you want to do for dinner tonight?" can confirm that. So, I'm going to turn this to you, dear blog readers. I'm going to present you with all the facts I'm dealing with, and you can decide for me*.

My WIP right now is actually my NaNo project from 2008. I won that year, but I never finished it. Then I put it away for the most part. After awhile I pulled it out and read it, realized it was crap, pretty much tossed it and started telling the same story (with a lot of tweaks) from scratch. It took me a long time to rewrite that draft because drafting is difficult for me.

Right now I am revising that draft. I'm almost done with this round of revision, then I want to go back through a few more times, then send to CPs, then revise more. I'm hoping to have it all polished by the end of January.

Also, I have a full time job, a part time job, a volunteer position on my sorority alumnae board, two blogs, a husband, and I try to have a social life.

I do have a Shiny New Idea for NaNo. I started outlining it a bit ago, but I never finished. I do have quite a bit of it floating around my head, though.

So, here it is...should I participate in NaNoWriMo '10?

On one hand, I really want to focus on my WIP so I can finish the darn thing already and be done with it. I already have some issues dedicating the time to it that I need to. I'm very busy, and this would be another thing to add to my overflowing plate. And should I start something new when I'm not even done with my first project?

Also, I'm going on vacation for five days over Thanksgiving week.

On the other hand, I am a SLOW drafter, so I love the timeline involved in NaNo. If I start it, I will make myself finish, and I love the idea of coming out of it with at least a partially completed draft. I feel like if I don't do NaNo, my next draft will take like six months to write.

What do you guys think? Should I do it? Would you, if you were in my position? (And please don't tell me I should do it just because you are doing it, and you want me to play with you. I need serious answers here, people!)

And, just because I'm curious...who here is doing NaNo this year? What's your username on the site? (You know, just in case I want to go find you.)

*There is no guarantee I will actually do what you decide. But you can play along anyway.


  1. Oh, that's a tough one. I feel your pain. Nobody asks me to make a decision either and I'm a Sag. Go figure.

    If I were you I would definitely do it. I like to take time off between revisions and this could be that time.

    And I also have a tough time getting a new project going. NaNo is going to kick me into high gear on this one, and if I don't hit the 50,000 words, at least I'll have a damn good start.

    If you decide to sign up, I'm here:

  2. Definitely go for it! I'm considering doing it for the first time this year...I'm not sure how I'll fit it in time-wise, but I keep thinking about a story I'd like to write, and NaNo might just be the kick in the butt I need to get started. Plus I helped plan my library's NaNo events, and I will feel guilty if I keep encouraging patrons to do it and then claim I'm too busy. :) Good luck with your decision!

  3. I think you should do it...I think it will give you a distraction from your current WIP that will allow you to come back to that next round of revisions/editing with fresh eyes.

    I'm doing it...I have finally decided. I doubt I will reach 50K but I'm going to at least attempt it! I have the same username on nano as NBC.

  4. Do it! I am in the same boat, trying to revise my current book (which was NaNo 09). I think a month off to work on a new draft will be a good way to recharge. Then in December back to editing! Then once the current book is ready for agents you can revise the new one.

    I'm at:

  5. I went through the same indecision as you are going through right now. Plus I host Thanksgiving for like 45 people and I have a lot cleaning and cooking to do, so I'll have to fit it in. I decided to go for it anyway. Down side, I don't finish 50,000 words. Up side I have a novel started and planned out. Don't put too much stress on yourself. Just try it and if you fail, you fail, but you've learned something along the way. And there's always next year. Hope we can be buddies during NaNoWriMo! :D

  6. If it's going to interfere with editing the work you have on the go right now (which it will), then I personally don't think you should do it. I'm in the same boat right now. I just finished the first draft of my first novel only days ago, and I'm taking a week or two off to let it breath. After that, it's into the O.R. for my W.I.P.

    I would suggest setting a NaNoWriMo-like goal for yourself. For example, state that you'll have your W.I.P. completed by midnight November 30th instead. It might require just as much effort and just as much time. Instead of writing, however, you'll be editing. NaNoEdMo.

    Whatever you decide, give it your all! Good luck!

  7. I think you should do it, especially if it will help you get your next WIP up and running. I think taking a small break from your current WIP while you work on the new shiny idea will give you some distance so that you're ready to jump back in in December and get the draft ready for people to look at.

    Then, once it's all out of your hands, you have the new shiny WIP to edit and review.

    It doesn't hurt to throw in your hat and try; the worst that can happen is you begin to write the WIP and then put it away for a later time.

    You can find me on NaNo here:

  8. I think you should do it, since you have an idea. However, it sounds like you have a lot going on & I don't know how you do it all! Like a few other people said, taking a break from your current WIP might be a good idea.

    I have been thinking about trying it this year. I work full-time, I'm in school, and I'm trying to find a part-time job (I have an interview tomorrow) but I feel like I should at least give it a shot and stop making excuses! I figure I can at least try and if I don't finish it, I can at least get it started.

  9. I don't know what you should do, but I'm leaning away from NaNo myself. I *IS* hard watching so many other people sign up though! I'm plotting a novel, I've started and gone back to plotting so honestly I'll probably be diving in for real just before Nov 1. But I'm still not feeling it on NaNo this year.

    If you want something to work on between revisions it might be a good break to work on a Shiny New Idea... But if you're going to miss your other goals you could always chalk it up as setting a good example to your students of not caving to peer pressure ;-)