Are You a NaNo Rebel?

It’s that time of year again — NaNoWriMo. All over the world, people are gearing up to write 50,000 words of fiction in the month of November. Love it or hate it, everyone has an opinion.

Me, I think it’s fabulous.

(For some people, not for all. See my NaNo post from last year for a discussion of the pros and cons.)

Through NaNo, I have:

  • met a wonderfully supportive community of fellow writers (you know who you are)
  • learned that I’m capable of writing a full first-draft novel (and then repeated the feat, so I knew it wasn’t a fluke)
  • learned how to put writing first instead of last
  • participated in a huge outpouring of collective creativity that has immense power to carry one through to the end of an intense month
  • remembered how much pure joy writing can be

But at the same time, NaNo leaves me:

  • burnt out for at least a month afterward (which means any good habits around writing get lost again)
  • with yet another messy first draft to add to my collection (being a veteran of multiple NaNos will do that)

Plus, this year I’m in the middle of the second draft of a novel (first written during NaNo). And although I tried making notes on some of my back-burner novel ideas, none of them really grabbed me.

However, last year I had to skip NaNo for Life reasons, and I very much wanted to do it this year, for the reasons I mentioned above.

So I’m declaring myself a NaNo Rebel. In November, I will be aiming for 50 hours of editing on my novel.

I’m not declaring an end goal (“product” goal) because I have no idea how far that will get me — to the end of the draft? to the end of the third draft? still in the middle of the second draft? — but time goals (“process” goals) usually work well for me. I’m excited to find out how a really ambitious time goal will turn out.

You’ll find me on Twitter, piggybacking on the NaNo vibe, doing half-hour sprints along with everyone else, and waving my rebel flag.

Your Turn! Do you do / have you done NaNoWriMo? Have you ever participated as a NaNo Rebel?


10 responses to “Are You a NaNo Rebel?

  1. I’m in the same boat as you. Too focused on my current novel to start on a new one.

  2. Thomas, I’m glad I’m not the only one. Good luck!

  3. I found your post via Twitter and it made me realise that I guess I am a NaNo rebel this year (first time)! I’m determined to finish my current writing project so I’ll be spending the month editing it and that by November 30th, it’ll be a readable draft *fingers crossed*

  4. Lianne, welcome to the rebellion, and happy editing!

  5. The one time I rebelled and tried to use NaNo to finish an old story was the hardest NaNo of my life, even worse than the one when I quit in order to not get all stressed and flipped out.

    But I’ll cheer you guys on anyway. 😉

  6. KD, I tried that one year too. I think I hit 25K (of new words) and wasn’t even happy with the direction I’d taken the story. That’s why I’m aiming for hours instead of words this time. Thanks for the cheerleading!

  7. I think it’s terrific to channel the NaNo energy into a project that is already in progress! There was one author last year who dubbed that NaNoRevMo. I LOVE it. 🙂

  8. Elizabeth, glad I’m not the only one who’s tried it. I’m a bit apprehensive about tackling an edit while everyone around me is shouting about wordcounts, but if I can ignore that and tap into the energy, I think I’ll still get a huge boost.

  9. This is the first year in a while that I won’t be doing NaNo, due to various family commitments. I’m going to try working on a few short stories instead.

  10. Ken, it can be tough stepping away from NaNo when it’s been a yearly ritual, especially if lots of people you know are doing it. In years when I don’t participate, I often have to minimize my social media time so I don’t get too envious. Good luck with squeezing in those short stories around the rest of your life!

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