Saturday, November 21, 2009

Leaving out the details -- NaNoWriMo Style

I have gone to several write-ins for NaNoWriMo over the last three weeks. For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The short version of it is that there are about 120,000 of us who have challenged ourselves to writing a 50,000 word novel in the 30-short days of November.

To write a 50,000 word novel in a month is a daunting task. I may be crazy, but this is the third year I've done it and I love the process.

In order to make it successfully over the finish line, I've found that you must move forward in your writing at all times. There's absolutely no time for revision--no time for even correcting spelling errors -- as you go along. As they say at NaNoWriMo headquarters, November is for writing. December and beyond are for editing.

So, I follow their advice and put one word after another after another, and I don't look back. In December, when the clock stops ticking, hopefully, I'll have 50,000 or more words. Then I can take all the time I want to go back and do the research to back up what I've written and to edit in an attempt to straighten out the mess my 50,000 words have become by the end of the month.

Anyway, I chose this as a topic for today's blog because I want to share with you how freeing this process is. It's just a joy to not worry about spelling, structure, or any of those maddening details that I agonize over on a daily basis. No, to make it to 50,000 words, I just slap those words down as fast as I can and I enjoy every minute of it.

I'm not sure of the tangible rewards of this process to my writing, but I do know that it usually gives me a new zest for writing -- it recharges my batteries. If you promise to not look back at what you've written and only move forward, you have a month free from slapping yourself for using the wrong verb tense, for telling instead of showing, or for not giving each character an individual voice, etc. What a great experience it is to "let it all hang out."

It's too late to join the NaNoWriMo group for this year (I mean you could, but 50,000 words in a week is a stretch), but I'll remind you next year to give it a try. Or, try it as a regular exercise throughout the year. You might get hooked on this free-form writing. I am.

And, don't think for a minute that nothing ever comes of all this writing. The Zen of Max will be out in January or February 2010. It's a revision of my 50,000 words from NaNoWriMo in 2008.

To visit the site where all of this originates, go to


Cindy said...

Love it lou, and I want to read the Zen of know this is a freeing exercise for any creative pursuit: art or dance or...while the muse is on your shoulder you must go, go, go, go...thanks for sharing this!

oakleyses said...

cheap ugg boots outlet, ugg australia, ray ban outlet, michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet online, tory burch outlet online, nike air max, cheap ugg boots, nike outlet, louis vuitton outlet, burberry outlet online, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet online, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, longchamp outlet online, ugg boots clearance, michael kors outlet online sale, nike free, louis vuitton handbags, michael kors handbags, prada outlet, nike air max, christian louboutin shoes, oakley vault, replica watches, red bottom shoes, longchamp handbags, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany and co, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet store, christian louboutin outlet, ugg outlet, gucci handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, prada handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren, cheap oakley sunglasses

oakleyses said...

kate spade outlet online, new balance pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, true religion outlet, ray ban pas cher, air jordan, scarpe hogan, coach purses, ralph lauren pas cher, hollister, kate spade outlet, tn pas cher, nike air force, hermes pas cher, north face, longchamp pas cher, coach outlet, nike roshe run, air max pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, lululemon outlet online, longchamp, guess pas cher, hollister uk, north face pas cher, nike air max, true religion outlet, michael kors uk, oakley pas cher, burberry pas cher, true religion, lacoste pas cher, ray ban uk, timberland pas cher, coach outlet, nike free pas cher, louboutin, true religion jeans, chanel handbags, converse pas cher, coach outlet store online, michael kors canada, mulberry uk, vans pas cher, michael kors

oakleyses said...

insanity workout, mcm handbags, nfl jerseys, nike roshe, reebok shoes, ralph lauren uk, nike air max, nike air huarache, north face jackets, ferragamo shoes, soccer shoes, abercrombie and fitch, chi flat iron, valentino shoes, giuseppe zanotti, new balance outlet, jimmy choo shoes, herve leger, hollister clothing store, wedding dresses, nike trainers, north face jackets, asics shoes, p90x workout, bottega veneta, celine handbags, air max, babyliss, longchamp, nike roshe, ghd, iphone case, nike free, baseball bats, mont blanc pens, instyler ionic styler, abercrombie and fitch, soccer jerseys, mac cosmetics, vans outlet, lululemon outlet, nike air max, beats headphones, hollister, birkin bag

oakleyses said...

karen millen, links of london uk, toms outlet, gucci, hollister canada, juicy couture outlet, sac lancel, louis vuitton uk, supra shoes, juicy couture, ralph lauren, air max, swarovski jewelry, doke gabbana outlet, michael kors outlet online, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs handbags, louboutin, vans, swarovski uk, pandora charms, louis vuitton canada, coach outlet, ugg soldes, ray ban, pandora uk, thomas sabo uk, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, wedding dress, timberland boots, oakley, ugg boots, converse, montre femme, uggs canada, sac louis vuitton, ugg, abercrombie, ugg, michael kors handbags, converse shoes, louis vuitton pas cher, replica watches

chenlina said...

cheap jordans
ralph lauren polo shirts
canada goose outlet
cheap ray bans sunglasses
coach outlet online
oakley sunglasses wholesale
ralph lauren outlet
nike outlet
canada goose jackets
coach outlet online