Confessions of a NaNoWriMo Virgin

by Lillian Csernica on October 14, 2014


Yes, it’s true.  As chaotic as my life is, as crowded as my days are, I have indeed signed up for NaNoWriMo.

Why, you ask?  Why do I intend to put myself through the hardcore boot camp of daily word count production?  Two reasons.

ONE:  Today I finished editing Sword Master, Flower Maiden.  I still have to run it by my agent, but I think I am very close to declaring this book FINISHED!

TWO:  NaNoWriMo is a great way to jump start Book 2 in the trilogy, which I have given the working title Garden of Lies.

1700 words per day, every one of the 30 days in November.  That’s about seven pages per day.  When I’m in good form, I can write five pages in 90 minutes.  I’m going to be logging my daily word count on my profile at the NaNoWriMo site, so people can watch my book grow.  They cheer me on, I cheer them on, and we all create literature together.

Do I have the book all plotted out already?  No.  I have this messy pile of notebooks and loose papers and a pile of research about the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, where the book will take place.  Once I hear from my agent and know what to do about Book 1, then I’ll be ready to settle down with the pile of notes and research and see how much I’ve already got.  Having taken inventory and gotten organized, I will then dump it all into the appropriate sections of Scrivener.  Gotta set up my workspace for this new adventure.

I’m already getting excited.  I know how to write fast without thinking too much about it.  I know how to pick my subject and keep that pen moving until the timer goes off.  Will I use a timer?  Probably.  Will I use it every day?  Depends on how well the work is going.  If I hit a dry patch, I might need the timer do nag me into being productive.  Other days I may go wild and crank out all kinds of material.  Bradbury said, “Throw up in the morning, clean up at noon.”

How about you people out there?  Any NaNoWriMo veterans?  Any words of wisdom for this newbie?  I welcome whatever gems of knowledge you see fit to share.

Anybody want to be writing buddies?  I’m not entirely clear on that concept.  I don’t get out of the house without major logistical planning, but I’m sure I can provide some kind of support and maybe even advice.  I’ve written four complete novel mss.  This will be the first time I attempt to do so under such a compressed time frame.  We shall triumph together!



Filed under Awards, Blog challenges, charity, chocolate, Conventions, Depression, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Horror, Humor, Japan, love, marriage, romance, science fiction, Writing

8 responses to “Confessions of a NaNoWriMo Virgin

  1. Good for you! This is the first time I am considering doing this. I have what I thought was a short story started but it seems to be growing into a full novel. Usually I know how it will all end and I don’t with this one so I’m not sure if I would be able to do this for the entire month. I may do it unofficially and see how it goes. Congratulations on finishing Sword Master, Flower Maiden!


    • Thanks, Sherrie! If it would help, we could be writing buddies. I’ve had short stories mushroom on me more than once. To me more is always better, right up until you find yourself painted into a corner or on a narrative bridge that reaches only halfway across the abyss!


      • I know about writing myself into corners! I’ve been giving it a lot of thought and have decided that I’m not in the right frame of mind to commit to the challenge this year. But if I can help in any way, I am more than happy to cheer you on! I’m not sure how to be a writing buddy but am willing to give it a try. I bet your example would inspire me to get back to work with my writing!


      • Thank you, Sherrie. That’s really nice of you!


  2. Even if I did Nano, I couldn’t plan. I could write 2K a day but it would probably take me in directions that I would find it hard to come back from :S Good luck!


  3. There are four pieces of advice I can give:
    1. Don’t underestimate how challenging it is. The first year I tried, I thought, “2000 words a day? That’s easy.” And then I got behind, and wasn’t able to recover.
    2. Prepare yourself for falling behind. Both years I’ve done this, work has interrupted my normal daily routine, and then I was looking at daily goals that seemed impractical. The first year, I freaked out a little, got discouraged, and basically quit. The second year, since I’d gone through it before, I didn’t freak out. I just put my head down and kept going.
    3. Find ways to hold yourself accountable externally. Posting your word count every day is good. Find local write-ins, and go to those, so that you’re surrounded by other people going through what you’re going through. Use your buddies. It’s easier to tell yourself that it’s not going to happen than it is to tell a writing buddy. So make sure you stay in contact with your writing buddies, so you can’t give up so easily.
    4. Prepare yourself during October. I’m doing a blog post every day in October, to reinforce the “write everyday” mentality.

    You can do it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.