Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Insecure Writers' Support Group - How [NaNoWriMo] has worked for me

See what I did there? My monthly Insecure Writers' Support Group post combined with Nano! I'm a multitasking queen, clearly. . .

I have found Nano excellent for dealing with my insecurity. The Nanowrimo ethos is simple - write without regard for quality. Just write. Write for fun.

For me, this is a great way of burning through insecurity. Yesterday I wrote 3251 words on Day One (official target: 1667. Personal target: 2500. I try to do extra every day so it's not the end of the world if I have a day when I can't write later in the month. In my experience, there is always one). And as I wrote those 3251 words, I wasn't thinking about whether or not they were amazing words. I was thinking 'Oooh, I knew Uncle Max was a book collector - maybe he could have been a book reviewer for a newspaper when he was younger?' and just dumping the new idea right in there. I was getting to know Claire, Penelope, Dot and the as-yet-elusive Sandi. And Uncle Max, of course, although like Marley he was dead to begin with.

It was brilliant fun. This morning I emailed it to Writer Friend (who invented the term 'Bloomsbury' and will be back for a visit soon!) and Paul, just because I had thoroughly enjoyed writing it and fancied sharing it. This is against the Nano ethos, really, and it's very unusual for me - I rarely share before the second draft. But it was just such great fun that I wanted to pass it on.

I haven't re-read it myself, because then I really will get insecure. But as soon as I get a few quiet moments today, I'll be curling up with my trusty netbook and hammering out the next instalment (I believe I'm taking Claire and Dot out for dinner tonight. Luckily, as fictional characters, they are cheap dates). Never mind insecurity. I'm here for the fun.

That being said, Nano is definitely not for everyone. It works for me, it may not work for you. But recapturing the fun is always a good idea, so even if Nano isn't your thing, hanging out on the forums for half an hour may help you to let go of the internal editor (I don't know about yours, but mine is a bitch) and rediscover the fun.

Happy November, guys!


  1. Yay for enjoying your Nano-ing!!! Onwards and upwards for you! Take care

  2. Happy November, Ellen! I'm looking forward to reading what you sent me.

  3. Nice to meet you Ellen. Enjoyed your post. You said something very important to me. "Let go of your internal editor". If yours is a bitch, my is her queen mother. I really needed to be reminded of that today. Thank You.

  4. I think NaNo is great for people who tend to pick back over their writing, because it forces you to just keep going. Good luck, Ellen!

  5. Thanks, guys :D

    Nice to meet you too farawayeyes, love your username! Glad the post helped, it's never any harm to give the internal editor a kick when it comes to drafting stage.

    Thanks Talli - I agree, Nano is designed for those of us who obsessively re-read and edit at the expense of moving forward.

  6. NaNo is awesome! My inner editor showed up this morning, and I stuffed her under my mug of tea and wrote over her muffled groans. The plot is thickening already at 3,246 words and a few unplanned moments have popped up with my characters - but that's the joy and freedom of NaNo.

  7. I swear every year I'm going to do NaNo. But it seems I always have a deadline for edits on a book during this month. I love to write new stuff.

  8. Aww I've totally forgotten about Nanowrimo. But nice to hear it's working out for you so well!

  9. Good luck to you, Ellen!

    November's a bad month with academics eating up a lot of time for me, so I can't take part in it.

  10. Oh, so glad you're enjoying first draft love affair time during the NaNoWriMo!! I can't wait to get started on my next book for the same reason. Write fast. Edit and worry about "perfection" later :-)

  11. Thanks guys, it's still going well thankfully, but I have a busy week ahead!

  12. Well done Ellen - I always struggle with the first draft, so hats off for just getting on with it. Hope it goes well :)


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