NaNo – Hell Yeah!

I mentioned on here last week that I’d committed to the NaNoWriMo challenge. For those who don’t know, this is the National Novel Writing Month, where a bunch of writers needing less caffeine in their lives commit to writing 50,000 words of their novel during the month of November.



My novel stalled at an early stage. I have written (what I think is) a great prologue, and I have (again, what I think is) an original and funny idea, but actually getting my butt in the chair and getting a draft down… a different matter. So, with reckless disregard for my previous lack of writing of any decent word count, I signed up to knuckle down, shape up, get grafting, and all those other metaphors that should grace a reasonable montage sequence at the end of all this.

My aims are twofold.

First, to develop a style of writing where I can turn off the inner editor. I have no ambitions to actually attain the word count target, but if I can stop editing as I go, allow myself the freedom to write in a more stream-of-consciousness style, and GET SOME WORDS DOWN FIRST! then this will be a huge step forward for me. At present, I am such a perfectionist that only poetry and short forms of fiction are reasonable goals. (Quiet at the back – if you think my writing’s bad now, just imagine how much worse it would be without that commitment!) I need to change my style to allow for this expansion into the longer form. Having just re-read this section a half-dozen times, the scale of this challenge is not to be under-estimated…

Second, to instill more discipline about when I write. I have agreed with my wife a timetable for when I’ll be writing. This will include a few hours BIC time every day (with extra time no doubt for planning and plotting… not that I’m much of a plotter), with an extra top-up session at the weekend. On top of a full time job and family commitments, this is not inconsiderable, and I need to get maximum return from that BIC time. This means, adios internet. Bye bye blogging. Piss off poetry… you get the idea. Focus. I’ll be a lean, mean writing machine. I’m just going to have to miss out on catching up on anyone else’s blog for a month, park my own, and hope that the latest cat videos and memes aren’t as cute as they used to be…

So, that’s me. Will it work? Who knows… but I have to try 🙂

See you in December!



Al! Al! Where are you going? I’ve just uploaded another video onto my youtube stream…

92 thoughts on “NaNo – Hell Yeah!

  1. Yeah! Yes, Al, dropping the blogging is key and will give you tons of extra time. And turn off the inner editor; it’s the only way to reach that word count. I wish you the best of luck and can’t wait to hear about your writing adventure 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That’s quite the commitment, Al. Good luck. I hear you about the editing. Each time I write a chapter (we are talking first draft here), it takes me much longer to read, go through, add previous notes and edit it, than initially write the thing! Slow progress indeed. I respect your decision not to blog for a month. I truly think that is the only way to get some decent writing done. I should follow suit. And, I should set the goal of writing 50,000 words on my memoir in November as well! I just cannot neglect the blog, since it is such a part of my life and documents all our outings… So, no more outings would be another contributions to the success of writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My fondest blessings on your plan. I can hardly wait to read (eventually) what comes out of such time and mind-set you are putting forth. You have one of those Cat-distractors too, huh? Ours never shuts up! Once when we left her at the vet, she was yelling when we left and yelling when we returned ten days later. He only commented, “She’s very vocal,” but he never boarded cats again! TRUE STORY!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I and the many cats off the internet will miss you greatly. Good luck Al. You’ve got this one in the bag, and I don’t mean those bags that you have to pay 5p for. I’m talking those good quality, bags for life!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good luck!
    See i’m the opposite, I can’t edit as I go, in fact remembering full stops often goes out the window, I can’t stop writing until I’ve gotten the full raw story down. Then I drag myself back to edit.
    Keep fighting! Keep writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Go for your dream Al!
    I say good for you!
    I wasn’t even able to do OctPoWriMo this year, so NaNo is another story altogether!
    One day, maybe…
    Best of luck
    And yes, I want to edit this comment. To many short sentences, doesn’t make sense at all. But, because I don’t want to let you struggle alone, I’ll leave it as is 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never participated in NaNo. And I’ve never wanted to. But I’ve also never been able to turn my inner editor off, either so… Maybe next year? Eh.

    Anyway. Good luck and we’ll see you on the other side. I said this to someone else participating in NaNo this year but you should take a “before” and “after” photo. I’ve always wanted to see one of those. I figure the more people I ask, the more likely I’ll get to see one. And it should be interesting. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Before” would have been me looking wide-eyed and innocent, unaware of the challenges ahead… “After” I suspect will be similar, but more tired, more grumpy, and a lot heavier from the all the takeout food!

      Liked by 1 person

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