NANO: My Top Ten Lists

Song of the Day: All Over Now by Great White

It’s over. Thank the gods of all and sundry, NANOWRIMO is over.

At the beginning of this madness which started back on November 1st, I determined my goal was not the customary 50K words. How completely ludicrous to even entertain the idea that with a 14 month old, a 9 year old, the holidays, and all the responsibilities that I shoulder, I purge out  so many new words. So, I set my goal lower. 25K. That seemed reasonable. Of course, I wasn’t thinking that last week with 9,000+ words to go and Thanksgiving breathing down my neck.

But I did it! And let me tell you, once I hit the magic number, I stopped cold. Right in the middle of a chapter, right in the middle of a scene. I did, however, force myself to finish the friggin’ sentence.

And so, with this experience behind me, I will bestow upon you my NANO Top Ten List.

Top Ten List Why I hate NANO

10 – Explaining why I participate in the stress-inducing madness to non-writers.

9 – No time to blog, twitter, or updating my Facebook status.

8 – Sheer panic watching my minimum word count skyrocket because I failed to keep up.

7 – The “you owe me” look DH gives when he makes dinner for the 4th night in a row.

6 – Watching your writing buddies write circles around you – dweebs.

5 – Wasting time wondering what happens next. NANO is not for pantsters.

4 – Wrinkles! I didn’t have them prior to, say, November 5th.

3 – Cranky, snappish, crying jags, defeatism, opting to have hot pokers seared into my eyes, wanting to give up, and a general overall bad attitude.

2 – Burnout. The refusal to write just one more word, even a terribly abbreviated signature on my child’s progress report.

1 – Whose idea was it to have NANOWRIMO in November? For the love of Pete, it’s the holiday season! Why not February? It’s too cold and dreary to do anything else anyway. Sheesh!

Top Ten List Why I Love NANO

10 – Camaraderie. The world over, people just like me are participating and most don’t need a straightjacket.

9 – The mid-month writing sprint. Hordes of authors get together and write as if their lives depend upon it.

8 – Progression. Whether 50 words or 50, 000 words, it is still a forward motion and that’s got to be good.

7 – The fact that my computer counts Chapter 9 as two words. It’s the little things that make me happy.

6 – Passing your writing buddies in your total word count. (insert evil cackling)

5 – Watching the charts and graphs grow closer to my goal.

4 – The rush of when I can’t type that mind-blowing scene fast enough. Pure genius.

3 – The excitement of my masterpiece unfolding. Really, I’m on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

2 – Realizing that I can move mountains. I can meet a deadline. I am up to the challenge.

1 – The horn-tooting, confetti throwing, glitter ball dropping, lords a’leapin’, incredible feeling of finishing. What an accomplishment!!!

How about you? Did you participate in NANO this year? How’d you do? I’d love to hear from you.

6 Responses to NANO: My Top Ten Lists

  1. Marie-Claude says:

    I did it too Jenn! I did it! 25,000 words and just like you I stopped mid-scene LOL
    Feels good to have persisted through the whole thing!
    Camaraderie was a big one. a bunch of us here in Seattle got us a yahoo loop to share and that helped a lot!
    Mega congrats!!!! Don’t know how you do it with all your responsibilities!


    • jbrayweber says:

      That’s wonderful MC! I’m so glad you had others in Seattle you could connect with during this crazy month. A couple of times, a few of us would post one page in an email of what we wrote that day. It was wild and gratifying to share in such a way.


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    Terrific post! I’ve never ‘done’ the NaNo but I can feel your pain. And, of course, many of your points also apply to writing in general.
    The chief reason I didn’t accept several nudges from colleagues to do NaNo was because:
    * I’d started a new novel on Oct. 20 and already had 20k words by Nov. 1
    * I knew my son and his new family was coming up for the better part of a week,
    * I had dr. appt. with spec. in mid-Nov. that I’d been waiting two months to see
    * I was sweating out results on my final three contest entries of the season.
    All that said, after my son left town, I jumped back into my W.I.P. and have pounded out another 26k words. So, for not participating in NaNo, I have managed to ‘bracket’ it with nearly 46k words in 17 days of actual writing.


    • jbrayweber says:

      WOW! 46K in 17 days! I’d say you qualified for NANO regardless of the date. I wish I could write that many words so quickly. I hope your dr. appt. went well, you had quality time with family, and you did awesome with those contest finals.
      Congrats on your word count. Whew!


  3. Suzan H. says:

    Yay, Jenn! Congrats on meeting your goal!

    I didn’t do NaNo becuase of the multitude of personal obligatons in November. I’m planning my own mini-NaNo over Christmas once I ship DH and GK to the in-laws for the holidays.


    • jbrayweber says:

      You mean you get to avoid the in-laws on the merriest of holidays? Lucky…. JK.
      Good luck, Suzan on the mini NANO. There is no reason why we can strive to maintain some sort of forward movement, even if its like a ship breaking through ice. LOL!


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