Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo Jitters

So today is the first day of November. It's National Novel Writing Month. I want to do NaNoWriMo SOOO bad. But I think I suck at prose. I mean just look at these first two lines I've written here. This is my nervous writing. These clipped, uninteresting sentences are what I'm afraid my prose will be like. I've almost written a novel, twice. And both attempts were so horrifically bad, that I stopped trying. But at this point, I'm almost willing to sit down and write words--thousands of words. Every day--until a pile of words big enough to comprise a novel  builds up and I can say that I wrote it.

Is that bad?

Is there anybody out there who has done NaNoWriMo who feels like I do--completely at a loss? I mean I don't even have a plot outline! But surely SOMEBODY has started out that way and finished something that was coherent, albeit in need of serious editing? Right? I don't mind editing. In fact, I love editing. It's the pressure to think up brilliant things that gets me every time.


  1. Laura, I've heard many times over, just write. You do NOT suck at prose or you wouldn't be writing. There is something deep inside you, begging to be released. A story aching to be told. Say this with me now: I am a writer.

    I wish I were born 100 years ago so that telling a story, a good story was all there was to it. When a writer was merely a writer, not an editor, proof-reader, formatter, and certainly not a publisher!

    There is so much pressure on today's writers. We have to be it all or else...

    I'm here, telling you now, relax sister. Just write. Let the story flow. Don't worry about the words or structure, just tell us a great story. Have fun doing so, and in the end, then worry whether you have something or not.

    I'm opting out of NaNo, again. This year I've signed up for WNFIN--Writing Non-Fiction in November, so I can hopefully get this darn rose rustling book done!

    Go for it!

  2. Oh Candy, thank you so much for the encouragement! It means a lot. You're so right--I need only WRITE! Write, writie, write!! I've got about 500 words of MY FIRST NOVEL accomplished, which puts me officiallly behind my word count for Nano and it's only the second day. Oh well, even that little bit feels good!

  3. You're not alone, I took the Nano plunge too this year. And while I think I have only seen your poetry (probably because you've jealously hid your prose) I know you have that storytelling bug in you and you are more than capable of stringing together sentences that are both coherent and enjoyable to read.

    Just write indeed. If you want to be Nano "buddies" my username is diegogreen3. Good luck!

  4. I was going to ask if you did it or not, but I see that you did!! Yay!! I started mine too, and like you am way behind their recommended daily average, but it feels good to get it started. I agree with Candy... Just write. Worry about all the other stuff when you are done. At least that's what I keep telling myself! =)

  5. Oh my goodness, thanks everybody! Diego, I'm looking you up. I wrote ZERO words today. But I did almost burn down my house today, literally. Not gonna say another word about that, but maybe it'll show up in a scene from my burgeoning novel, ya never know! ;)

    Anne, I try to tell myself that I'll take care of all the technical stuff later, but I find myself editing as I go, which slows me down terribly! I seriously cannot help myself. Bad habit I picked up in college? Meh.

  6. Oh by the way, I have a friend on Twitter who reached 50k words earlier this evening. I kid you all not. She finished. It's DAY TWO!! I mean, c'mon. That should not be allowed. She seriously cheated. I think she started it in July. ;)

  7. I think its a super cool experience ... but I also dislike all the pressure when I write. I think it is much easier to write crap when you are writing for a deadline ... then again, maybe that is the only way you overcome such a thing.

  8. Oh boy...it's almost the end of the month. And Lauren, what you say is true: it's easier to write crap when you are writing for a deadline. I froze. Completely froze. I still have about three pages of meandering nothing. I failed NaNoWriMo. I don't think it's for me. I love the idea. I love that people do it. But I don't love the race. I realized that it's no use writing a novel unless you're passionate about your story. I had a theme, not a story. And someday, the story will shape itself out of the ether of my imagination. It will be incredible. But I still have a lot of plotting and analyzing to do and I'm not going to rush it. So Diego, I'm so sorry I never friended you on NaNoWriMo like I said I would. That's horrible. I would love to hear how you're NaNoWriMo journey is going. Thank you all for the support and encouragement! I appreciate it more than you know!

  9. I meant to do NaNoWriMo this year, but forgot, and who knows when I'll get a chance again - I mean, next year I'll have a six month old! But I think writing is less about doing it well, and more about JUST DOING IT. That's what the editing process is for, silly! And you do NOT suck at prose. Some of the best things I have ever read were written in a very raw, earthy way. Stop worrying about form and just WRITE. You can do it!



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