Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Reversing lights on: backing out of the NaNoWriMo space

The last three days have taught me ten things:

  1. I am not superhuman.
  2. I do not have the stamina of twenty years ago.
  3. My family needs me.
  4. Writing haiku calms me; writing novels under pressure is too stressful.
  5. The shortest time I’ve managed so far for writing a novel is three months, meaning anything I turned out in one month would be substandard, which would bother me as I’m a perfectionist.
  6. Writing under stress gives me indigestion and insomnia.
  7. I am not Hermione Granger, so cannot cast a spell for being in two places at once (i.e. cooking the evening meal while trying to reach my daily word-count on the computer).
  8. I love writing fantasy novels and am not committed to the idea of changing direction.
  9. I’ve already written four perfectly reasonable novels, but am being a coward about sending them off and risking rejection.
  10. I am not too proud to admit defeat.

So, thank you, all my dear blogging friends who’ve wished me all the best, and, hopefully, you’re not too disappointed in my decision. The plus side of this is that, today, adollyciousirony will have a haiku contribution from me for this week http://allaboutlemon.com/2012/11/03/for-the-love-of-haiku-9-abandoned-garden/  

And to close, would anyone be interested in joining me on a gentler novel-writing quest at the beginning of 2013, which could be called  Novel Writing Winter (NWW)? This would involve penning the first draft of a novel between January 1st and March 20th, giving everyone plenty of time to plan and research in advance.  I’ll post something about this again after Christmas.

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14 thoughts on “Reversing lights on: backing out of the NaNoWriMo space

  1. They seem like very wonderful realisations to come to. I would mark nanowrimo of as a success. Needing to look after my family was my reason for not doing it too.
    As for next year I would love to join you – I have a series of prose poems which together form a novel.

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    • Thank you, dear friend. I guess you’re right about the whole thing being a success. That’s a lovely positive way of looking at things. And really pleased you want to join me with NWW 🙂

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  2. I hope the Valkyrie did not scare you off! 😛

    You know I support you no matter the decision. As I don’t consider myself a writer, I’d be constantly irritated to knock out words for the sake of keeping pace. When inspired words will flow, and when not the empty white screen becomes a focal point for trance-like meditation. I appreciate your thoughts about keeping a standard for your writing and refusing to compromise it for the sake of a deadline. I do understand for writers, deadlines are a reality, but for me, this is something I enjoy doing. If it becomes work, well, where’s the fun in that?

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    • Don’t worry–the Valkyrie didn’t scare me off! When writing my sword and sorcery fantasy, I played the title track from Saxon’s “Crusader” album to provide some decent background sounds for a medieval battle. I also played troubador music while penning a couple of banquet scenes.

      Nowadays, I always write in silence, as my head can’t deal with dividing itself in too many directions.

      The plus side of backing out of NaNoWriMo is that I finally got around to submitting some sample chapters of my children’s novel to a publisher today 🙂

      I agree with you that writing should always be something to enjoy, although I could do with earning some money from it. It must be possible to turn it into a fun job–I hope.

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  3. Oh that sounds wonderful – I can only agree with you – basically it is just not seriously feasible…but your idea is.

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    • Perhaps you would like to join the winter write-in? I have two other takers so far, and today I’ve had a most original idea for a science fiction novel, so am rather excited about the prospect of writing something new, instead of reworking the old.

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      • Yes, definitely will – and could help give it a build-up I hope…would love to!

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      • Excellent! I must design a logo that people can start to associate with this happening.

        Am presently trying to get to grips with manipulating and layering photos. My mini blogathon logo was my first attempt at this.

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      • That is wonderful. I think the logo would be a lovely start. A few winters like this (not too many I hope!) and we might get an anthology out under the logo’s brand or something – just a little extra to the individual work. Please rely on my support and help where I can.

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      • That is wonderful. I think the logo would be a lovely start. A few winters like this (not too many I hope!) and we might get an anthology out under the logo’s brand or something – just a little extra to the individual work. Please rely on my support and help where I can.

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      • An anthology sounds ambitious. That would probably require a new wordpress blog specifically for the winter write–and with several administrators! It’s a good idea, though.

        This January time, I’ll stick to writing a novel, and posting updates about how things are progressing, as well as encouragement to others. I was thinking about the posting of extracts, too, but this is a bit dodgy for anyone who intends to pitch the completed work to publishers, some of whom consider anything posted on a blog as self-publishing.

        There’s no reason why, as an individual, someone can’t aim to write an anthology of, say, prose/poetry in the January slot.

        All ideas and help welcome. Glad of your enthusiasm.

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      • Oh the anthology is just a vague long-term concept! Really like your idea – found the November challenge too much…and yes, once again, fine for people with no family commitments..

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      • Oh the anthology is just a vague long-term concept! Really like your idea – found the November challenge too much…and yes, once again, fine for people with no family commitments..

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  4. Oh Sarah Potter…you made me smile when I read this….I, too, signed up for NaNoWriMo after completing it last year. Feeling less than ambitious but nonetheless resigned to pushing myself harder, I managed a mere 6000 words. It just didn’t work this time!

    I enjoy your concept of a gentler climb and am up for it. Just got the NMW logo on my blog and will put my official 50-100 words together. Thank you for embracing those of us who need a different pace…

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