My NaNoWriMo

I haven’t actually finished NaNoWriMo yet this year. I’ve got about 2000 words left to write. And the book – sigh – the book is a galloping mess. Honestly, I seem to have spent almost all of the 50,000 words introducing character and setting and have completely forgotten the plot. But… I’m so glad I did it (and even more glad it’s over).

But I wanted to highlight something from Dave Eggers’ NaNoWriMo Pep Talk (the pep talks have been particularly wonderful this year, I think) – it applies to ALL writing, not just NaNoWriMo:

“… you better do it now because you know how to write, and you have fingers, and you have this one life, and during this one life, you should put your words down, and make your voice heard, and then let others hear your voice. And the only way any of that’s going to happen is if you actually do it. People can’t read the thoughts in your head. They can only read the thoughts you put down, carefully and with great love, on the page. So you have to do it, goddamnit. You have to do it, and you can step back and be happy. You can step back and relax. You can step back and feel something like pride.”

Don’t you love that? I’d like it painted on my office wall.

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19 thoughts on “My NaNoWriMo

  1. Aha! So it’s not just me, then? I too have a new novel, but ‘galloping mess’ is the perfect description for it. I couldn’t even get my magical rules to play like rules and ended up with two magical systems – personal magic and gifted magic. Duh! (Personal is gonna get it in the edits.)

    I’m not feeling very proud at the moment – at least I wasn’t till you posted this! I feel a bit bereft. I love, love, love the drama of NaNoWriMo and I’m a bit lost without it (I finished yesterday). 104000 words should make me feel proud but now I’m just scared at the thought of trying to edit it into the semblance of an actual story!

    But this is so true. Even if the only people who ever read it are my own children and maybe even their children, it’s a piece of me and I should be proud of it!

    Thanks for this.

    Cat x

      1. Hi Diane!

        Thanks. I am proud of them, but I’m an awkward character at the moment. I get so frustrated at not being able to earn a living. It’s a long story but I was left with lots of health problems after a botched op and NaNo basically saved my sanity. But I am very hard on myself and I never feel ‘good enough’, no matter what I do.

        But I’m trying to be more rational!!

        Cat x

      1. I’m sorry to hear about your health problems, Catherine. I totally relate to writing keeping you going, though. It’s often been my only consolation. I do think us “creative types” are often too hard on ourselves though. x

  2. I loved that pep talk too. It was worth joining NaNo for the fabulous pep talks. Not so much for the gnawing guilt about not having managed it at all, but still… 😉
    Congratulations, you! xx

  3. Still got 3,000 to go, but I am determined to finish. Didn’t help bring in school all day, helping out and now I am procrastinating online! Wonderfully inspiring quote, absolutely lovely. I still think my story is a pile of poo, but I have loved being a part of something quite like nothing else I have ever known. I have met wonderful people, both on and off line and have received a tremendous amount of support from my online friends, so I thank you all.

    Anyway, it’s going to be a long night. Wish me luck!

  4. That’s a fabulous quote. You can see why he teaches kids writing, can’t you? And 2k words short or no, you’ve really achieved something great — 48,000 words is amazeballs. I still love the Jen Lancaster quote about how having something that needs editing is 10 x better than having something perfect in your head. (I’m paraphrasing, but only a little.)

    1. Ha! That’s a great (sort of) quote from Jen Lancaster – I completely agree.

      Anyway, I did it! 50,009 (and if I’d remembered to write THE END, it would’ve been 50,011). I did try to put a winner’s badge up on the right, but it looks like it didn’t work. I can’t see what I’m doing on this computer… *weeps for Mac*

  5. That’s the plan, Cat, yes. I did the first draft of the next book (Jessie *hearts* NYC) for NaNo last year, so I hope this one will be a book at some point too. There’s a lot of work to do though…

    1. Well, that’s good to know. Three of my four novels are NaNos- or started life as NaNos – so I’m pleased to hear that they do sometimes get to see the light of day!

      Cat x

  6. That is a great peptalk. Thanks for posting it. Words definitely to put up where I can see them. Good luck with your book!

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