Who am I?

I am a writing and publishing guru. What I dont know about the market just isn't worth knowing. So what if I'm unpublished? I choose to give other writers the gift of my wisdom and experience* that the other 500,000 writing blogs out there fail to give.
* No actual experience

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Having hung around writerish blogosphere for some time now, I was vaguely aware of an annual writing event, National Novel Writing Month. Kind of like an orgy in which quantity is the key.

As I understand it (not that I've been researching) published and wannabe writers aim to complete a 50,000 word novel in the one month, averaging about 1600 words per day. Ok, sounds great for some who have time and/or stamina, and horrifically stressful for those who don’t. I think they've adopted and adapted the Nike Just Do It philosophy.

As it happens, November is a quiet month for me, work wise. I’m self employed but rely mainly on one company for work, and they are super busy in the middle of the year, and slow down between November to February. I was well aware of this when I agreed to work for them, and allowed for the lull. I took on more projects than was wise over the busy period, knowing I could postpone some things until now. Such as writing. And other stuff.   

December is ridiculously hectic. End-of-school-year activities and Christmas-is-coming functions fill the diary (at least people in the Northern Hemisphere are smart enough to have split these between July and December. Down 'ere, we pack 'em into a single mad, mad month). January is school holiday time, so I might squeeze 4 words per day between the demands of child-wrangling. And in Feb., work starts to pick up again.    

So, happy coincidence, NaNo seems to have been tailor made for me.

Except I put the No in NaNoWriMo. I’m not a joiner. I’m not even sure of the logistics, as I only skimmed through the web page.  

Plus, I would have been cheating if I had, seeing as I already had about 10,000 words of a newish project (YA paranormal) done by Nov 1. My aim was to develop it this month. So far, so good. 

So far,  I have exceeded the NaNo (daily) total- I can manage an average of 2000 words (more during school days, less on weekends). So I expect to have added about 60K words to my WIP by Dec 1 provided I dont get tanlged up in any inherant contradictions, or need to go back and change a character's motives or decide there's not enough substance in the plot to carry it over 25K words. And so on, the usual reasons I might hit a wall.

Nevertheless, knowing that others are powering through their manuscripts is inspiring, particularly as not everybody can dedicate as much time to it as I can. And I’m sure that if I got into it, I would be delighted for Ella of Eltham completing her MS within the allocated time. But the reality is that I don’t need the distraction of posting my own, and following others’ totals. I’m a solitary old grump, not a cheer squad. The other merit of the NaNo approach is that just writing until something happens is a good way to get into the writng zone. It's ok to go back and delete the first few useless paragraphs. Waiting for inspiration to hit is a great time waster.  By "doing it", I get more done (well, duh).

However.... even without the burden of an employer, I've got a life. The "other stuff" gobbles up my time.  Such as attending Professional Development seminars, to maintain my professional registration (I have a two day course and a one day course in the next two weeks); getting some much avoided dental work happening (it’s not just writing I procrastinate) and pushing myself to do regular exercise (the scales scream and run when I approach). So a month may sound like a long time, but it's far from empty.

In other words, I still need to juggle my White Whine concerns.

I could still be persuaded to join the NaNo culture. What benefits have others found from being NaNo participants? Please share!


  1. I've tried NaNoWriMo a couple times, but what always gets me is the week of Thanksgiving. I usually host the dinner at my home, so between cleaning the house and cooking for the holiday, I get too far behind on the daily minimum and give up.

    I think it is a great opportunity, though, to jump right in and produce a messy first draft. Sometimes, a deadline is what I need to force myself to sit down and write!

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Kim. Good luck with your own writing goals.
    Yeah, hosting a dinner party is a great motivator to spruce the house up, but housework and writing just dont mix, IMO. Which is why my floors go crunch when you step on them right now.

  3. Oh I could totally write a novel in one month. It would just be a steaming pile of shit.

  4. @ Elliot. Nice to meet you. I'm certain my one-month baby's gonna be shitty, too. But that's not stoppping me. As somebody said on their blog, December will be NaNoEdMo. To which I add, January'll be NaNoReWriMo, and February probably NaNoTrunkMo.
    Thanks for joining the legions of followers. For some reason, blogger's not displaying them. I'm guestimating the total is (rounding down to nearest one thousand) five!

  5. If I didn't work, maybe I'd try it. But unless I forfeited sleep for the month, I can't imagine how I could pull it off.

  6. Here's a comment from Phoenix that came via email:

    I also still have problems posting to your blog for some reason :o\ Here's what I was trying to post to your NaNo comments yesterday:

    Let's see -- it is now Nov 21 and I'm just getting around to reading your post. You have inspired the procrastinator in me! If I started NaNo now, I'd have under 9 days to write 50K words. Not gonna happen. By and large, I ignore NaNo