My first shot at NaNoWriMo.

27 Oct

I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this November, which is National Novel Writing Month in which amateur and seasoned writers alike aim to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. Even though I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo, I’ve heard about how fun it can be.

My decision to participate in NaNoWriMo arose when I went to a NaNoWriMo planning party last week in Asheville. The wonderful thing about NaNoWriMo is since it’s a big deal, there are normally groups of writers participating in hundreds or thousands of cities in the world. Though I was at first iffy about the idea of writers getting together regarding a project that’s different for every person (since every writer is going to be writing something different), it actually is a wonderful way to gain support within writing and make more writing friends. Though I wasn’t sure whether I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo when I went to the planning party last week, I figured that it couldn’t hurt either way since I’ve been wanting to make more writer friends.

The writers in the Asheville NaNoWriMo group are mostly women, which is fine by me. I actually expected that. Either way, it’ll be fun to see how we grow as writers and as friends. Thankfully, I went to the NaNoWriMo group with a friend of mine that I work with at the campus bookstore, which made the whole experience much better since there was a friendly face there with me. Anyway, even though we aren’t able to start actually writing until the first of November, this first get together acted as a way to start planning, plotting, thinking of characters, and outlining. Though I was supportive of that idea, I was still incredibly unsure of what I was going to write. Though I wrote a lot of fiction when I was younger, I’ve been in the memoir-writing phase since January. I’ve gotten used to the style and how my writing days normally go. Therefore, I didn’t know whether I’d be able to switch genres at the drop of a hat.

However, after talking out my ideas with my NaNoWriMo group, I realized that there’s nothing against continuing my memoir during the month of November. Truthfully, that made me ecstatic simply because I feel like this is the kick in the pants that I’ve needed. The simple fact that for the entire month I’ll be concerned with word count and simply getting everything out is what first drafts are all about anyway. Getting it all out first and then cleaning it up later. There’s a reason why they are called “shitty first drafts.” So even though I couldn’t start writing during our NaNoWriMo meeting last week, I started to write down all the memories and moments within my childhood that I haven’t yet included in my memoir, and trust me, there are a lot. I have 3 to 4 pages dedicated to simple memories. I truthfully can’t wait to get started on the 1st of November. It’s going to be even better to have constant support while also knowing that fellow writers will just be writing their hearts out as well.

Even though I’m set on participating in NaNoWriMo to move forward on my memoir, I was a bit unsure about how I would keep up with my memoir as well as this blog. As of the first of November, I will have blogged every day for an entire year, and this blog is definitely not something that I’d want to fall by the wayside. Therefore, I’ve decided to incorporate my writing for NaNoWriMo into this blog, which means that for the entire month of November, you will all be getting to read everything that I’m writing as I partake on my very first NaNoWriMo journey. I’m incredibly excited for this next phase in my writing life, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

So, now the big question: How many of you are participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Are any of you newbies this year? Do you have a regional NaNoWriMo group that you’re meeting with, or are you just going solo? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially since this is the first year I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo.

23 Responses to “My first shot at NaNoWriMo.”

  1. The Bumble Files October 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Congrats on your decision to do the Nano. I’m going to sign up, but haven’t yet! It’s a little daunting, but I think I need this push. Best of luck to you. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

    • ameliaclaire92 October 28, 2012 at 1:53 am #

      I agree that it seems daunting. However, maybe it’s that time of year when many of us writers just need a nice kick in the pants.

  2. Janine Huldie October 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    I also joined NaNoWriMo and am so very excited. I look forward to joining you and some of the others too during this experience.

    • ameliaclaire92 October 28, 2012 at 1:54 am #

      I am so excited to get to know so many others who are doing it. It seems like such an awesome way to build support and make connections.

  3. Lisa W. Rosenberg October 28, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    This is so exciting Amelia! I am cheering you on! I’m not doing NaNoWriMo, but as a personal goal I’m giving myself until the end of November to revise my novel one more time. Sort of as a solidarity gesture with all you brave participants. 🙂

    • ameliaclaire92 October 28, 2012 at 1:55 am #

      Thanks for the cheering, Lisa. It is much appreciated no matter what form. I wish you luck on your novel revisions. I’m sure that in a few years I’ll realize that they are just as daunting (if not more) as shitty first drafts.

  4. Katie October 28, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Hey Amelia
    I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time too this year! I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years and have finally decided to take the plunge. Mainly because, like you, I’ve found a group of writers who will meet weekly to discuss progress and motivate each other. The lady who is running my group has completed it 7 times(!!) so I think I have a lot to learn from her. I was planning on abandoning my blog for the month but I might post some of what I’m writing up on mine too (if it’s ok to steal your idea?). I don’t think I’m brave enough to post the whole thing!
    Love Katie x

    • ameliaclaire92 October 28, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      You can definitely steal my idea. And wow, seven times is a lot! I’ll definitely be cheering you on throughout the month. We newbies have got to stick together, right? 🙂

  5. P. C. Zick October 28, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Amelia – I’m glad you’re doing it and looking forward to your progress. Your post tempted me, but right now I’m heavily into final edits of my next novel so I think perhaps I’ll gear up for next year. I love the concept.

    • ameliaclaire92 October 28, 2012 at 10:45 am #

      I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do it with college keeping me so busy, but I’m sure going to try.

  6. photosfromtheloonybin October 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Holy cow, you are one busy girl, but being busy is much better than being bored isn’t it? I can’t wait to read more of your writing. It’s always amazing! Good luck with this new challenge.

    • ameliaclaire92 October 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Definitely! I’d much rather be incredibly busy than bored any day of the week.

  7. 4amWriter October 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Yup, I’m doing it. 3rd year in a row. It’s great fun, you’ll have a blast.

  8. Anita S October 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    I don’t know if I’ll do it this year, but I guess I’d better make up my mind quick! 🙂 I participated in 2008-2010, and had planned to do so last year, but ended up in the hospital for half of November. Since I couldn’t do the writing in the hospital, it put a monkey wrench in my plans!

  9. anewdayrising79 October 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    My first time too! 🙂

  10. Laura October 29, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    I’ll be doing NaNo too! I did it 2 years ago and finished, and I tried last year and failed. Good luck!

  11. belasbrightideas October 31, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    Go girl! I thought of this but decided against it. I’ll just live vicariously through you!

  12. michelle sodaro November 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    This is my first year doing the NaNoWriMo as well. I am writing a sequel to a first draft I have finished…which is nice because I already know the characters.


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