Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Truth about November

Sometimes I am a stickler for the rules. Here are some examples:
  • when I make the rules
  • when the rule is "no butting in line"
  • when rich people (not just money-rich, any kind of rich) break rules at the expense of poor people (not just money-poor, any kind of poor)
NaNoWriMo is not about the rules. I hate the daily word count. Some days, even in November, I am just not feeling it. I hate seeing my short little bar next to the taller bar in the progress graph. I want to tell the graph to bite me.

The truth is that I write 50,000 words a month anyway--even if it isn't November. Between work, emailing, novel-writing, blogging, journaling, list-creating, I probably write more than 50,000 words a month. However, because of all those different outlets, I rarely write 50,000 words on a single project in a month--except at work. For me, NaNoWriMo is an exercise in focus.

Yesterday, someone told me she couldn't believe I was writing a novel in a month. But I am absolutely not doing that. That's ridiculous! I'm writing 50,000 words of a novel in a month--I know I won't have a complete novel on November 30. THE INTERN is revising a novel this month--as is Frankie Diane Mallis. Do you know about NaPiBoWriWe, picture book writers? How 'bout HANOWRIMO? The ways to make this month your own are unlimited.

YA writer Justine Larbalestier says: "Use the month of November to explore. Whatever you wind up with—on paper or in your head—you’ll know more about yourself as a writer."

Have you changed the rules of NaNoWriMo to fit your style or needs? How are you making NaNoWriMo work for you?


  1. I'm not good with rules either. I'm using NaNo to write what and when I want. Whether its my Mer WIP or something else. Even long emails or hand written letters--yes, ancient snail mail--to people I haven't talked to in awhile. November is my month to be thankful, not stressed out aout a word count or bar graph.

  2. Wow. I am not doing NaNo because I don't believe I can write a novel in one month. I never considered bending the rules for myself, but your post has made me see it differently... now I am inspired to use November just to write and write, to explore my limits and break down the barriers. Thanks for the wonderful idea. Hopefully Novemeber will produce some excellent writing for all of us.