To NaNo or Not to NaNo

The last week or so, I’ve been thinking about NaNo. Em posted a blog about it the other day, which I commented on, and while I was doing this I realised I needed to do a blog myself about it.

Since completing NaNo in 2009, I’ve always KNOWN that I’d do it again. When 2010 came around, I didn’t even question whether I’d do it or not. I presumed 2011 would be the same. It has been, until the last couple of weeks.

Maybe a month ago, I decided I had to finish Holiday by 31st October so I can start NaNo on 1st November knowing that I hadn’t leftHoliday unfinished (as I have the previous two years). I decided that in December (realistically probably January) I’d either start editingHoliday, or Italian Infatuation. Good plan, I’m happy with this.

However, I’ve now started to have doubts.

By November I’m going to have two novels with draft one finished – not edited. I’ve also got the half novel from NaNo 2010. Do I really want or need another novel that would compete for my attention, I’ve spend enough time over the last 18 months trying to work out if I should be editing Italian Infatutation, or writing Holiday – what if there was another novel in the mix too? I don’t think I could handle it.

But, I love NaNo.

Last year I went to lots of writing events, and loved them. I met some great people that I’ve stayed in touch with, I met some great people that I haven’t stayed in touch with, but that I know I’ll see again in November. I got a thrill from writing in a room with lots of other people. I did a writing tour ofLondon, writing in loads of different places (mid November isn’t that great to be writing on park benches – but FUN!).

Also, you know, I wrote a novel in 2009 and half in 2010. I kind of have this idea that I’ll write a novel a year – probably in November each year.

This sounds weird, but I love the pressure I’m under each of those 30 days (especially the last few!!). I’m so much better at writing when I have a deadline. I find it pushes me, which I can’t seem to do on my own.

But then, if I do take part, I’ll need to have a story idea. I don’t have any at the moment. I know this is just now and I’m sure I can think of something in the next two months, but it’s still a problem. I’ve hadHolidayin my head for years, and Italian Infatuation in one form or another for years too. I thought up The Dating Project just before NaNo last year, and I’ve got to say I’m not that happy with it (I think that’s a lot to do with the pace being too slow – I’ve written 51k and not really even hit the main story!), so it would worry me that the same would happen again.

I’m quite likely to have a comment here from my other half reminding me about my black comedy/funny thriller (kind of Ben Elton style) that’s kind of been floating round my head for a while. There is that one. But, well, I’m scared if I’m honest. I’ve never written anything funny and not sure I can. The guys in the writing group often laugh atHolidaywhen I read that out, so maybe I can, but a whole novel TRYING to be funny scares me. I also think it will have to be much more complex than I usually do, and I just don’t know if I can do that complex.

There’s also a little bit of me that thinks I should do NaNoEdMo in November when everyone is doing NaNoWriMo (editing instead of writing…). 50 hours editing. It’s an idea anyway.

I’m going to make a decision soon. At the moment I really need to concentrate onHoliday, so thinking about this can be on the back burner. I’ll probably end up doing it, but there’s a little bit of me that thinks I shouldn’t.

4 thoughts on “To NaNo or Not to NaNo

  1. I have the same basic quandary every year, more so this time as I’m just coming to the end of last year’s NaNo novel now. I might write a few shorter stories for NaNo just as a change of pace, but this would require a pile of ideas handy. We’ll see.

  2. Thanks for the link 🙂 Will return the favour in my next NaNo post on Thursday!

    Idea of your black comedy/funny thriller sounds great but maybe doing NaNoEdMo will suit you better as you have pieces you want to edit. I guess it is a question of whether 50 hours of editing inspires/motivates you as much as knocking out 50,000 words. It sounds like you really enjoy NaNo and a big part of me wants you to do it as I am very close to declaring my intention to do it!

    I hope your week with Holiday goes well, look forward to reading about your progress!

  3. I’m here by way of Em’s blog!

    I have been considering the prospect of November’s NaNo quite carefully, and I think I might end up cheating a bit and editing/rewriting a story that I started a few months ago. I left off with it at 25k, and I was thinking that I can either try to add an extra 50k to it, or scrap everything that I have and just start from scratch. Either way, it’ll give me the chance to work on something that’s already in process, and as I am already juggling 3 WIPs, I do not need any others to keep track of.

  4. Okay, I’m stopping by via Em’s mention of your post on NaNo…..the more I read…the more I’m intrigued.
    I’d better read more.
    Wow! You completed a novel during the challenges? That’s a lot of writing!
    ~ Nadja

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