It’s Not Too Early to Be Thinking About…NaNoWriMo (Insecure Writer’s Support Group)

(Author’s Note: It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and that means…BA-DA-DUM!!! Another Insecure Writer’s Support Group post! Be sure to check out other bloggers in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, either through Alex Cavanaugh’s blog, or by using the #ISWG or #Insecure Writers Support Group search tag to find other bloggers blogging on the same topic.

I’d also like to take this moment to wish Insecure Writer’s Support Group a happy 2nd birthday. Many thanks again to Alex J. Cavanaugh for this brainchild, and for keeping this group going and thriving over the past two years. I’m very pleased to be a part of it.

This Blogging Things Works Wonders! (Insecure Writer's Support Group)

Now, without further fuss and muss, here’s my contribution to this month’s IWSG.)

In less than two month’s time, NaNoWriMo will be here. Ah, yes, that 30-day mad dash towards a 50,000 word manuscript. 30 days x 1,667 words – 50,000 words. For the unititated, it may seem daunting, but with the right motivation, and the right support – look around you, there are lots of bloggers who are former NaNoWriMo participants – achieving that goal towards 50,000 is not just doable, but it can be exhilarating. Fun, even.

For some people, taking part in NaNoWriMo can be an eleventh-hour, spur of the moment decision, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Those are the pantsers – I’ve considered myself one – who prefer to just sit down and let the magic happen come November 1st. And for a lot of pantsers, the magic happens. For others, there’s some planning involved. Outlining, sketching, getting to know your characters, knowing their backstory. Maybe even some exercise. Stocking up on energy snacks and coffee, or scouting the right location for some quiet writing time; the Starbucks near my house was my NaNoWriMo home away from home, and I single-handedly kept them in business for an entire month.

My advice to you is that if you’re going to take part in NaNoWriMo, your best bet is to start planning now. Sure, October is likely the best time, if you’re deciding to throw in your hat for the NaNoWriMo dash, to begin your training for this event, but why not start even earlier? Of course, the point of NaNoWriMo is that this should all be fun, but if you’re going to make a novel of this, then give this the seriousness it’s due.

It’s what I’m doing right now. I mentioned a few blogs ago about a bat-shit crazy idea for a novel that came to me during the middle of some (good) stressful times. I’m getting to know my work-in-progress more and more every day, piece by piece, and even though I’m going to be in the midst of some life-changing events, I want to make a lot of progress as far as this BSC (Bat-Shit Crazy) idea is concerned. So I’m plotting it, writing some of it out, learning more about my characters, and flexing my muscles. Because come November 1st, the first draft is going to get written, no matter what.

Insecurity, life, and NaNoWriMo be damned.


18 thoughts on “It’s Not Too Early to Be Thinking About…NaNoWriMo (Insecure Writer’s Support Group)

  1. You go, Gus! Last week at 4:35 a.m., I was awakened by the muse with an idea for NaNo. I’m going with it. I used to consider myself a panster, and I believe 80% of me still is, but for NaNo, I have to have an outline. What I call an outline that is. November will be busy for me, but I am determined to win my fourth year in a row. Good luck to you, my Nano friend.

    • The first time I did NaNo, I winged it and failed miserably. Last year, I went with it knowing exactly what I wanted to write, and it was a pleasant experience for me.

      What? Writing, a pleasant experience? I better stop.

  2. Pingback: Back from NaNoWriMo | The Write Stuff

  3. Man, I don’t know about NaNo this year. I’m still sitting on that piece of crap mad dash of a book from last year. And it’s been getting a total rewrite. I look at it and see jewels of wit and brilliance but none of it comes together well and it feels disconnected. It may be my NaNo project this year.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, I do have an excellent book in mind that would be easy to run by the seat of the pants with. A difficult piece, but doable—outside of whatever my genre is. That’s a lesson I’ve learned recently. Figuring out a genre—you know, for sure. I write what I want and don’t want to pigeon-hole myself and go where the keyboard takes me. Quite a variety.

    Good post, as usual. Even got me thinking about NaNo again, and I was dead-set against it.

  4. Hmm. This year I might actually be in a position to give it a go. I should stick with revisions, but I’ve been in that mode too long. And I’ve been gradually putting together the form of my next novel. If I revise like hell through September and October, writing the draft (or starting it) in November would feel like a vacation.

  5. I’m definitely a planner, and I’ve no idea how people can aim to write 50,000 words in a month without some sort of prior outlining!

    I tend to find that, with a good outline, the story feels like it’s flowing through me as I write, which makes things easier. There’s probably time to get a REALLY good outline done before November starts!

    • I’ve known a few writers that can pretty much pull a manuscript out of thin air. But then they’ll tell you they’ll spend months, if not years, in revision mode. Pantsing works for some, for others, plotting is the way to go.

      I’m not going completely granular in terms of my outline for my NaNo WIP, but I want to know as much about it before November 1st.

  6. Pingback: Kansas City Writers- UNITE! | A Girl Who Writes

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