Nano Shmano!

by Neeks

I can do this. I can? What was I thinking?? Boy talk about a deadline. Day one is coming up here pretty quickly and I may expire of nervousness before it ever arrives. I have signed up for nanowrimo (as neeeks look me up!) this year. I may never get up the nerve to actually go back to the site and login, but I signed up! You cannot know what a leap that was for me.

Being honest with myself and recognizing my own shortcomings has made me reluctant through the years to even voice the thought of writing a book. What would it be about? How do I possibly make a short story go that long without stretching it tortuously by like what, page four? I have two possibilities and will have to settle on one before the start date; but I am leaning toward one of them. I’ve never seen a book done on it before either. I’ve never seen anything on the idea so I am thinking I might actually have a unique approach here; and anyone who really knows me can tell you that I’ve always liked being a tiny bit different.

I keep several small pieces of driftwood on my coffee table. Eh? In South Georgia? The wood came from a visit to the west coast, to see my father. We gathered wood on a beach near his home and I brought it back with me. I shellacked the wood and it makes a great (and unusual) centerpiece for my rural country home. People take and arrange them together in all kinds of neat ways.

I painted some rocks and used them to line my little garden plot under the trees outside my back door. This time of year it doesn’t look like much, but in the spring and summer the rocks are lovely against the background of yellow Lantana and ornamental grasses that line the plot. I painted a little rock that I keep in the house on my bookshelf too, and it’s especially appropriate here for this post and all it contains.

All of these things are different, not the usual coffee table items, yard decorations or house decor for that matter.  Nothing very odd or strange mind you, just a little different from what everyone else has.  But back to nano!

So I have this germ of a plot in my head, an idea that is different, and I think it’s a great idea for a book (or could be if someone who knew how to write was going to tackle it…no wait stop talking like that). I’m nervous, can you tell? I don’t expect to finish, I may not even make it halfway thorough, but that is okay.  I signed up and I have an idea and that’s so much more than I’ve ever done before! I’m calling that good progress on my behalf.

Now I may surprise myself and finish with flying colors. I might fizzle out after a week or two and not finish it. But you know what? Even if I don’t, I’ve admitted to myself and now to all of you as well (YIKES) – that there is a story inside of me.  A real story. More than just a few scenes, more than just impressions. I’m excited, and all of a sudden I can’t wait to get started! I may not finish this year, I may not finish next. But hey, and my hands tremble a little when I type this:

I am writing a book.


64 Responses to “Nano Shmano!”

  1. Ohhh Neeks, I’m so excited and happy for you doing NaNo this year! I know you’ve always said that you wanted to write a book, but never had the courage to make that leap! You got this, and we are all behind you!

    • Thank you for the encouragement Beth, as a past winner, I think you need to do a special post today or tomorrow on tips that us newbies can use to help us on nano this year! What do you say?

  2. I’m thinking of signing up, too…maybe we can encourage each other!

  3. I signed up for the first time and am equally excited and scared. (Equally to you and equally to each other.)

    • Miriam, thank you for the link on your blog, and we are all in this together. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help (I know I won’t hesitate) if there is anything we can do to help!

  4. good luck to you!::D

  5. Good luck! I have signed up for the first time and I’m not at all nervous because I am doing it to prove to my husband that I don’t have a book in me. It’s a win-win because if I’m right, I win the argument and if I’m wrong then, hey! I wrote a book. 😀

  6. One of these days, I may do a NaNo, but this November is revisions for me. But kudos to you for going for it! You’ll have great support from some of your fellow bloggers who are taking part, especially from Limebirds.

    Remember, NaNo is to get the story out of your head and onto paper (well, into a computer file). Don’t worry about grammar, word choices, character inconsistencies, plot holes, or anything like that. With Nano, editing comes later.

    Maybe you end up with something that becomes a novel. Or maybe it will be a novella. Or a longer short story. That doesn’t matter in the end.

    In November—just write. And best wishes!

    • jm that’s the best advice I’ve heard so far! Thank you so much. Seriously, it will keep me grounded when I start feeling like this thing is too big to fit in my lap…rewrites come later. Just get the story out and most important; The Limebirds are here to help!

  7. Neeks, I applaud you! And everyone else I’ve read about who is doing this.
    You’ve got me thinking about considering putting some thought into deciding whether or not I might actually want to do this, too!
    Maybe a dry-run, first? 😉

    • Richard thank you for commenting!! You know, I read what you said and that was my EXACT response last year when Beth (our founder at Limebirds) posted that she had signed up. I was envious, scared and filled with a longing to try. I’ve thought about it all year long too. 🙂
      Good luck when/if you do it, and remember, November isn’t the only month to try. There are some blogs and sites I’ve seen that advocate writing a book in 90 days, etc. You could always try one of those too, if they seem more manageable.

      • Haha! Yeah, I know, I copied and pasted it. No, only joking. That’s kinda freaky isn’t it?
        I think it’s something I should have a go at because one of my bad habits is editing on the fly, like one sentence at a time, till I’m happy. I need something to prompt me to switch modes and just write, write, write.
        but 50K words, around 1600/day. See how we go. Like everyone, I guess, we have lives outside of writing. 🙂

  8. Hey Neeks, glad you’re with us on NaNo this year. I look forward to seeing your progress on the NaNo site. Don’t worry too much about the 50,000 word target. I’ve done NaNo for three years and have yet to win (although I feel like this year might be my year…!). 2,000 words a day for a month is a horrible thing if you’re working full time; just don’t let it get you down! 😀

    • Thanks lordscree, I don’t actually expect to finish this year, dealing with a lot at home. I got laid off this week from a job I’ve held for 15 yrs. and 6 months. I’m working for a new company, but it’s a $5 an hour paycut, very few bennies, and me a single mom.
      The important thing for me here was signing up. SAYing out loud in public that I’m writing a book. We get how much mileage out of that? Two, three years before our neighbors and friends expect to actually see something? I guess I’ll find out…hehehe.

  9. You sound like me. 🙂 I signed up for NaNo last year and then never went back to login. This year I’m considering it, though still weighing in the likelihood of finishing when I’m also up against work and an MFA. BUT hey–signing up is a step in the right direction. This year I even have a plan. Baby steps. All baby steps.

    • Baby steps, beautiful verfiedkayo! As it happens I have gone back and logged in again, so I guess I’m in for it now…lol. Go ahead and sign up, who knows? This years start may be next years bestseller!

  10. Yay! I bet you can do it, Neeks! I have to tell you, I wasn’t sure I could either when I did it for the first time last year, and I made it. You’ll figure out how to write this story, I know you will. I don’t think anyone’s sure of how to write the story of their novel when the first approach it. I never am when I start a new project, but I get there, I feel my through it and come out the other side. Don’t worry if it’s rough, just write your way through. Revisions come later, when you have a better idea of the whole picture. I’ll be there cheering you on. I’m doing NaNo again this year. I’m not sure I’ll ever voluntarily miss it now. Too much fun and it works too well for me.

    • How encouraging you are, thank you so much! Great advice, I can’t wait to see how it all comes out. I wish you the best of luck this year, it sounds like you really have it down!

      • Thanks! I’ve had practice. I did both Camps this summer. Yes, that makes this my third official NaNo event this year. I’m insane. It’s one of my more endearing traits. 😉

    • I’ve never heard of a nano camp before, will have to do a little googling before bed… (for next year!) 🙂

      • This year it was June and August. It was kind of neat, write a book in a month, edit for a month, write a book in a month. I got so used to it that taking both September and October to edit has been killing me. Must. Write. 😮

  11. You’re going to be just fine. Don’t overthink it, seriously. Just let the story out and don’t edit yourself or question yourself along the way. Don’t re-read anything that you write. Just keep writing every day. You’ll be amazed at what you accomplish.

    I expect to see you at the finish line. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement, and I got an email about a tweet too, so thank you! I have to admit I never get on twitter, I’m old and I just don’t get it I guess. lol.
      I am excited to try nano though, even my dad has done it and finished a couple of books if I’m not mistaken. I have my own copies as proof!

  12. Well done for signing up. I’m doing it for the first time too and although a little nervous, I’m excited too. Don’t panic, just let the creativity flow and follow where it leads.

  13. Go for it! You might surprise yourself and finish but most importantly when you are an old person, you won’t be looking back and feel ashamed because you didn’t even try. Good luck. Great post.

    • Loony, such wise words. Thank you so much, you are so right! I would look back and regret not trying. I wish I had thought of that in my post. It is that accurate. Are you signing up too?

  14. Hi! I’m a newbie right there with you. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Maybe we don’t finish? Maybe we get discouraged and blow off the whole thing. But the best part is that each of us will have started, at least, a novel! I think that’s worth the work and the time and the energy I will invest. Best of luck to you!

  15. Best of luck to you, Beth! You’re going to do great, I just know it. And check this out: today’s post is 605 words, which is just a little more than 1/3 of your daily writing goal (1667 words). Not a bad start, if you ask me 🙂

  16. Sounds like you are going to do it! You go Girl! 🙂

  17. I did too… of course, my January deadline made it imperative. Snicker. Of course, It starts in 48 hours and I got a set of revisions in my inbox this morning that are do on Friday. Over committed much?

  18. It’s scary isn’t it! I’ve never written a novel either, and also have concerns about whether I will have enough ideas to write a story that goes on for a whole book! We shall see…good luck to us both – and everyone else doing NaNo too of course!

  19. Excellent stuff, I too am entering this months NaNoWriMo, I haven’t planned what I’m going to write I just know that my target number is 90,000 rather than 50,000. I managed to complete the Camp NaNoWriMo in June so I’m sort of a past winner but like you, I’m nervous about the challenge I’ve set myself. I aim to do the 50,000 within a month and then continue past that with the other 40,000. I have a rough outline in my head but stretching it into a book that big? *trembles*

  20. You can do it Neeks! I have faith!!!! The first year I did Nano I started 5 days late and still managed to make it work – AND I had no idea what I was going to write about prior to starting!

    • Really Laura? I have an idea and am still kind of freaked out, I can’t imagine starting and not knowing what the idea is going to be! My hat is off and I bow to all those who start that way 🙂

  21. NaNoWriMo … about ten years ago was what motivated me to start writing fiction. Good luck.

  22. I’ve signed up to, my first time so good luck to us both

  23. Whatever you end up with it will be a win, Neeks.

    In my first NaNoWriMo (2010) I won (and will be publishing the result in early 2013). In my second, I didn’t have enough of a story (and was snowed under) but I am planning on editing it down to novella size and adding that to my next collection.

    This year I am convinced I’ll manage to win, but, even if I don’t hit 50,000 words in November it won’t be wasted, it will be finished in some form or other at a later stage.

    So, just write your head off (or your heart out…) and then decide what to do with the result afterwards.

    Good luck!

    • Congrats on your past wins Dennis, and I hope the publishing goes well! You’ll have to let us know when it comes out.
      As for making the word count, I know I will (sooner or later). Just sitting down to try is a win for me 🙂 Good luck!


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