Monday, November 01, 2010

Why I Am (and Will Be) Crazy

I have decided to dip my toes into uncharted waters. (And possibly mix metaphors in the process . . .)

Novembers past used to be the most insane time of the year for me. And that didn't count preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The whirlwind used to be because of my work as assistant director of the Utah Chocolate Show. Even after I pulled away from that (something had to give, and it wasn't going to be family or my writing), the fall was almost always loaded with book promotions (when I had a fall release) PLUS trying to get my latest book polished up and ready for submission.

This year, I have none of those excuses. (Okay, I do have the promotional excuse with THIS beauty, but not the "get that book turned in" one, nor do I have the chocolate show one. Oh, and yeah, I guess I did promise to get a rewrite back to my editor ASAP. I'll do both. I swear.)

As one writer on the Kindle boards put it, if you're a writer and don't have a good reason to not to NaNoWriMo, you should do it. He says it's "like jury duty." (Only I'll add: more fun. I hope.)

For my non-writer friends, here's what's I'm talking about, a song that explains why November is going to be NUTS.

(It's a song parody on one of my old favorites, "That Good Ol' A Capella." I love the version sung by The Nylons.)

That's the gist.

Basically, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's when thousands of writers use that month to write a brand-spanking new manuscript in one month: 50,000 words of one, at least.

(That's usually not a full novel unless we're talking a Middle Grade book. My novels range from about 75,000 to 115,000 Still.)

Let's spell it out:







For pantsers (people who have no clue where their story is going and just write), it can be a nightmare. For outliners, October is NaNo prep month, where they make lists of scenes and plot out their stories. I think I'll be somewhere in the middle.

Why am I doing it? Because I'm in a weird writing funk, and I think it'll take something drastic like 50K in a month to knock me out of it. I've got a couple of book ideas rattling about in my head. I've picked which to use, figured out some scenes and major characters and plot elements, but I should have outlined it. (Although I've always landed in the middle of the panster/outliner spectrum, so maybe I'm okay . . . I hope.)

So, my beloved readers, here's how this will affect you:

With the exception of a few posts here and there, I won't be blogging much in November unless it's to give a brief update on my madness and/or put up a progress toolbar so I can be publicly humiliated if I don't reach my goal.

I'll be largely absent from Facebook and Twitter. I'll try to keep my e-mail time minimal. (I can't NOT have SOME e-mail. I'm not a caveman.) I may treat myself to a Google Reader fest to check blogs if I've reached my word count for the day.

But if I don't swing by your blog in November, don't feel neglected.

Know it's nothing personal. I'm just feverishly losing my mind as my keyboard smokes.


Kristina P. said...

Good luck. The thought of it makes me want to subject myself to Mario Lopez movies all day.

Susan Anderson said...

Have fun with it!


The Crash Test Dummy said...


I was going to do it too, but decided against it now that I'm trying to win this contest.

I better win, huh? Cause look what I'm giving up.

Thank you again for all of your support.

I started my ten in ten giveaway today. Woohoo! Final stretch.

Anonymous said...

You may be crazy but I'm just as crazy as you! ;) (Except, not as busy as you.) =D

NorahS said...

Good luck! I'm rooting for you!

Stephonie said...

Good luck!
My sister challenged me to do it because she is chomping at the bit to get going on our next book. This one however is my baby, not hers and I have struggled with where I want it to go. She seems to think that forcing me to sit down and write will flesh out a lot of what seems to elude me.
I did 562 words before I went to bed at 3 am. All I can say is that this is going to be UGLY! I'm ok with that, though.

That Girl said...

We'll miss you, but anxiously await the results. ;o)

Also, "pantser" is the coolest word ever.

Unknown said...

I comment on one blog and say, "I can't do NaNo this year." Then I read that another friend is doing it, and I say, "Oh, yes, I'm TOTALLY doing NaNo this year!"

So I think I'm going to sign up and go for it. I loved it so much last year, I can't imagine not doing it.

If you see me on yet another blog saying, "Heck no! Who has time for NaNo this year??" just chalk it up to the neurotic rantings of a DeNae divided.

Lara Neves said...

If I were a writer I know I'd be pantser. :)

Good luck! I'll miss you, but I will also look forward to another great Annette novel!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I'll be smoking up my keyboard right along with you. I'm practically a pantser this time though. I have a vague idea about a few things but mostly I'm winging this. Scary but fun.

Unknown said...

I signed up. I'm registered as "DeNae", giving some indication of the level of creativity that is propelling this year's attempt. Find me and buddy up!

TisforTonya said...

okay, officially I think you're a tad insane... but unofficially I'm thinking it's awesome! I'm sure the "funk" will pass and we'll get to see something amazing come out of the NaNoWriMo stress!

wendy said...

ok, you go girl.
Nano Nano (and I am giving you the mork and mindy salute)

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

good luck and I'll miss your posts.

Chas Hathaway said...

Awesome! I think every writer should try it at least once. This is my second year doing it, and I have to admit, it's been ten times harder this year, but I'm still having a great time with it.

I came to a point in my story last week where I had to tell myself that it didn't matter at ALL if the story (grammar/dialogue/lack of dialogue/flow/everything else) was any good at ALL. I just had to get 50,000 words of attempt.

I think that saved me. Thursday before this last I hit a "hate my story with a passion" wall that even made me even skip Friday. And that was after a whole week of getting only half the daily word count I should have, which, using my system, is hard to catch up on. I was so stinking close to giving up it was disgusting.

But thank heaven I did. I'm loving it again this week, and though I got slammed with the flu (ugh... at least it gave me a day off work to work on it) and I've got more catching up to do, I've been wanting to write this story for years now, and I'm so proud of myself for finally making an effort at it.

Anyway, good luck!


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