And NaNo Begins…

It’s officially November 1, which means that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is finally here. Writers all over the world have been anticipating this day for weeks and as the clock struck midnight, I opened up a blank word document and began writing.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Rewind to a few weeks ago.

Three Weeks Ago:

-Edited my NaNoWriMo profile.

-Added new writing buddies.

-Wrote blog post, inquiring about who else was joining in. Patted myself on the back for thinking of NaNo three weeks ahead of time.

Two Weeks Ago:

-Procrastinated writing an outline for new NaNo novel.

One Week Ago:

-Procrastinated writing an outline for new NaNo novel.

Week Leading Up To NaNo:

-Thought about NaNo every day and continued THINKING about starting an outline. Told myself I’d still have plenty of time to do it later.

Day Before NaNo:

-Said, “OH CRAP. NaNo starts tomorrow. I really need to get my act together.” Vowed to think about NaNo plot while shopping with my mom.

Day Of NaNo:

-Decided it was REALLY, UBER, EXTRA important to clean my room top to bottom, dusting and vacuuming (an event that only takes place a few times a year!) Because come on, you can’t write in a dusty room!

-Handed out candy to trick or treaters.

-Wondered why oh why NaNo had to start on a week night. Last year was so much cooler when I had all day Sunday to start Day 1 off strong.

Midnight, NaNo Begins:

-Opened blank word document wondering why the words weren’t immediately spilling out of my brain.

-Wrote 500 really crappy words making up character names along the way.

-Still had no plot.

After giving up for the night and deciding I’d obviously be way more alert and ready to write after a good night’s sleep, I realized (and tweeted)…

I am a planner. Always have been. Why I thought writing a novel would not require planning is beyond me. Today, after work and after forcing myself to go to the gym, I’ll be taking a good hard look at creating a working outline that will at least help me get beyond 500 really crappy words.

I know taking the time tomorrow to begin outlining will set me back in the word counts, as I’m sure many of you are already plugging away, I’m not going to let this bother me. Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I will not be putting pressure on myself to finish by November 30. If I do, that’s great, but the main goal for me in joining NaNo is to start writing every day and  meet other people who are serious about writing.

So, lesson learned. Planning is important. Some people can jump in blind and write, write, write, but I need a little more structure in my life.

What about you? Are you a planner or do you just dive on in when it comes to writing? What’s your NaNo strategy?


7 thoughts on “And NaNo Begins…”

  1. My planning for NaNo this year consisted of picturing an opening scene for my narrator — where she is, what she’s doing, and why she’s there. I haven’t thought about anything else, but I have a feeling this going to be another post-break-up novel! The ol’ “finding yourself” routine. That’s usually my best work, so here’s to hoping!

    I’m with you: my main goal this year is to write every day, really get into that habit and keep cranking out as many words as I can. I really, really hope to finish by Nov. 30, but I also want to “finish” with something I’m proud of. Good luck, girl — I’m cheering for you!

    1. Good for you! I came up with a lame idea and then tried to roll with it for about 500 words…I don’t think it’s happening. I’m going to brainstorm some more at the gym tonight and then hopefully come home full of energy!

      I’m cheering for you too!

    1. That’s how I totally am with schoolwork and papers, but for writing a novel? I don’t know. I think I need a concrete plan, and unfortunately I wish I realized that last week. Oops! Oh well, just need to roll with it.

  2. I’m not really into outlines… I actually suffer more if I HAVE to do one (I’m battling with the outline I have for my science research paper. It’s throwing me out of whack!) so usually I just dive right into my writing. I DO have some sort of idea of how to begin and how to end but in between it’s allllll empty space. Somehow I get from part A to part B and that’s where I have the most fun (or torture, depending on the day).

    I’m sure you’ll kick ass at writing this month! I’ll be rooting for you! 🙂

  3. I am such a planner. I need to know all my major plot points before I ever right a single word. It’s inevitable that I deviate from the plan because my characters end up doing what they want, but it’s nice to know I have a plan to fall back on if they get out of control. After all, they’re teenagers and they need to be given direction every once in awhile.

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I live by the saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and help others do the same to reach their biggest, brightest goals. Read my story here.

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