Will I, won’t I…

Will I? I really want to. I really shouldn’t. But it could be so good. But it could be so bad.

What on earth am I talking about? NaNoWriMo, that’s what. National Novel Writing Month in which the challenge is to start with a blank sheet on November 1 and finish with 50,000 words on November 30.  That’s November 30 – this year.  No pressure there then.

A very large part of me is saying – ‘Have you gone completely bonkers?  How could you possibly imagine for one split second that you could do it.  50,000 words in 30 days? In your dreams girl!’

Meanwhile a very tiny part of me is saying ‘But I’d love to try!’ – and for some crazy reason, it’s the tiny voice that’s shouting loudest.

So.  Why should I NOT do NaNoWriMo? Where do I start.  November’s shaping up to be a busy month. I’ve got work to do, talks to give, books to sell, family to visit, meals to cook – oh yes, and horses to ride. I’m already finding it all but impossible to fit everything into a day.  But then that will doubtless be true of many others who take up the NaNoWriMo challenge – they’ll have jobs, and families, and dogs to walk and all sorts of other stuff that won’t take kindly to being ignored for a month.

Okay. Why do I even WANT to do it? Because for the past couple of years I’ve had a story bubbling away in my brain, popping up every now and again as if to say ‘Are you ready for me yet?’  and I keep having to say ‘No, not yet – please go away. But don’t go too far!

NaNoWriMo could be the perfect opportunity to set that baby free. I’ve been a Journalist all my working life – I know deadlines – I even like deadlines, because they concentrate the mind beautifully. And I like the idea that in this case quality can take a back seat, because quantity’s far more important.  Getting enough words down onto the page is the challenge – honing them and crafting them and licking them into some sort of shape can all come later. After November 30.

Hmmph.  In typical Gemini fashion I am completely convinced by both arguments. I can do NaNoWriMo – and I can’t do NaNoWriMo.  I’ve got six days to decide – and I bet I’ll change my mind six hundred times (at least). Stay tuned if you’d like to find out what I decide…

This has been a bit of a wordy post (just getting in practice!) so I leave you with a pic of the chap who will doubtless be my writing companion if I do decide to take the plunge. Actually he’ll probably be sprawled over my lap anyway, whether I’m NaNoWriMo-ing or not – this is Buffet the kitten.  Named after one of my favourite country singers – Jimmy Buffet.


Jimmy Buffett 080128-N-3235P-221 MIDDLE EASTER...

Image via Wikipedia


17 thoughts on “Will I, won’t I…

  1. Crazy woman – I have signed up too, and I too do not have the time. I have done it once … it is inspiring, energizing and totally chaotic, and I loved it. Enjoy, and I’ll see you on the boards..


    • Ah see now I just LOVE that – people immediately coming to cheer you on and give you words of encouragement.
      Dorothy – inspiring, energising and totally chaotic is exactly as I imagined it – and want it – to be. Do you plan your story out first – or just dive in and hope for the best?

  2. Yes you can! Go for it! There is no time like the present and what if the story comes out phenomenal and has only 39,000? Is it a fail? Absolutely not! GO GILLY!!!!
    (motivational energy from sunny Florida)

    • Catalina – I can positively feel all that motivational sunshine in your words! Please please keep some in reserve for me in case I flag half way through (if I decide to do it…)

  3. I’ve never done the Nanowrimo myself – always had other things taking priority during November – this year it’s edits and formatting. But if you can give it some space in your schedule and you have a story burning away in your head – then you really should give it a go!

  4. Janice – ‘space in my schedule’ – you know me better than that! Sleeping’s going to have to go out the window I reckon – but there’s just something about the whole idea that really draws me in.
    To be honest I’m still dithering – but I definitely know what I WANT to do..so we’ll see.

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  6. Such a cute writing companion! Awww…
    I’m also doing Nanowrimo for the first time. I am also convinced I can do it, until I also convince myself I’m barking mad and can, at the most, only reach 20,000 words. I have no ending for my story and even doubt the rest of it.
    Best of luck! You can buddy me (krudyard) when the buddy system is up and running if you like.

  7. I say go for it. All journalists thrive on a deadline and often produce their best work when time is extremely limited. I rember when at Border I wouldn’t start writing my voiceovers in the van until I could see Carlisle as I liked the creative challenge. Give me an hour and I’d just fart about. So, in short….crack on!

  8. I’d say do it – if you think you’re not going to have time, then you definitely should. All being well, the structure of Nano will force you to find/make time and get on with it.

    Having said that I don’t do Nano, because my personal writing problem isn’t getting the first draft out, it’s motivating myself to edit and rewrite and edit and rewrite afterwards. I think that if it fits into a problem you have – not having time – then it’s definitely a useful exercise. And knowing that other people are doing the same at the same time can be a big inspiration x

    • Thanks Alison – I think I’ve just about managed to bully myself into doing it. Strangely enough I actually quite like the editing and rewriting bits – once I have the basic structure, I enjoy tinkering with it. So we’ll see…

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