Nanowrimo 2013 Update

I am going to do it.

On the one hand, the higher standard I have set for 2013, (complete a story, and not just 50,000 words) is somewhat daunting. But on the other, more significant hand, I need to work on not being as hard on myself over such things. I need some more writing in my life that is simply for the exploration, and not the deadline.

Most of my writing this year has pertained to some sort of pre-existing obligation. Which is good; a writer must not wait until inspiration strikes before doing their work. Otherwise, very little fiction would ever get produced. One must work on something most days, and I do. That being said, this year I haven’t gotten to explore as much as I might otherwise like, because of deadlines I have imposed on myself, (and some from others.)

There is the much troubled Novel 2. While I feel confident I have fixed it to the point of being able to at least complete the rough draft sometime next year, much of my writing time was spend making such fixes in the broad outline. Then there is Flowers for Dionysus which is in it’s final few revisions, but still needed attention this year. That was more editing than writing, but it was still an obligation I set for myself. The novels have hung heavy over my writing mind this year.

Then there is the short story collection that I am writing as a companion piece to Flowers for Dionysus which I have spoken of before. It’s a series of ten short stories that take place in the same setting, and last week I completed the rough draft of story number nine. I have one more to go that I’d like to finish before I start Nano. (Another deadline.) It feels rewarding to have set such a goal, and I think i can edit those stories into something enjoyable. But it has been a specific goal I have been pushing towards for several months now. It’s taken a lot of mental energy and perseverance to get so many stories done in that time period. I’m proud of the accomplishment but again, it has taken some creative energy away from a few other things for a while.

Then there is the rather unpleasent experience I had over the summer with a freelance client wherein I had to adapt his atrocious screenplay into a novel in about six weeks. I got it done, he didn’t like it, and he tried to stiff me on more than one occasion. I got my money at last minute, and concluded I would never work with him again, but the whole experience was time and energy consuming, and I need a break.

Please understand that if I didn’t adhere to this level of self-discipline, I’d get a lot less writing done. In the end, a writer must write things and complete them. I can never allow myself to slide into a lackadaisical approach wherein I just write when it feels good, or when there is nothing better to do. I need to do things this way. That doesn’t mean though, that I can’t sometimes feel that I’m getting too far away from the adventure in my own imagination that writing can be as well, and lately I feel perhaps I have closed myself off to it what with all the work and the deadlines.

Enter: Nano.

The challenge may officially be to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve added the extra goal of completing a whole story in that time. (I haven’t managed to do that yet in all three of my Nano attempts.) But the biggest challenge of them all may be letting myself just enjoy the process of whipping up a novel in 30 days. A novel that is not in my official bibliography as it were. This one is not intended to be part of the “Ty Collection”. (How’s that for pretentious?)

No, this one is about embracing both the thrill of trying to establish a plot quickly, (something I could use some work on in general), and having a good time along the way. Which means I need to not give a damn if I don’t get it done in the 30 days. There will be times when I will think this was a bad idea, but I must remind myself that I have plenty of time in my life to worry about the “official” works. For 30 days at least, I need to make it about frenzied creation. And of course the very act of doing that can, and hopefully will open up doors in my imagination which will help with the more official work I will be doing in the coming months.

I can tell you I am going to try my first mystery. (Mainly because you need to get on with a plot PDQ in a mystery.) I know the protagonist, the seven other characters, how the victim died, who did it, and why. I may sketch a few brief character traits, but no more. I don’t want this to become like all of the other complicated writing tasks I’ve given myself. Simple and fun. Process over product this year.

Ten days to go…and I have one more short story to write in the mean time.


  1. Laura W.

    Best of luck!

    I am also doing some NaNoing this year. Because of my schedule, I’m participating as a NaNoRebel. The forums have been a good resource.

  2. I have been in and out of the forums a few times each time I do it. I don’t seem to make much of an impact with my questions though =)

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