Monday, November 3, 2014

Confessions of a NaNoWriMo Junkie

Hi.  My name is Bob Nailor and I'm a NaNoWriMo junkie.

Today is November 3rd and it has been 339 day since my last hit.  I don't know how much longer I can continue to ignore the call. I gave up NaNoWriMo - swore off it when I finished my story last year on November 29, 2013.  I promised never, ever to attempt to write 50k words in 30 days again during November in celebration of National Novel Writing Month.  I had gleaned the coveted "Winner" title twelve (12) times in the last 12 consecutive years.

[takes a deep breath]

My first incursion into NaNoWriMo was an utter failure. It was the year 2000 and my friend, Terri, suggested we try this writing challenge.  It was new and sounded interesting and she, I and about 3 others formed an online group (she was from Oregon, me in Ohio, another 2 from California and 1 from Texas) to participate in NaNoWriMo.  I attempted, of all things, a story cookbook.  One does not attempt to write a cookbook with recipes when participating in NaNoWriMo.  I only got about 35k words completed.  I was determined and set my goal for the following year... but, it was not to be.  Terri passed shortly after NaNoWriMo.  Then my father passed away in October right before the event would begin and I had too many other details to handle and I didn't even hear about NaNoWriMo.

If only it had remained that way... but, noooo.

The year was 2002 and my buddy, Zaapiel, lured me into brooding dark alleys of NaNoWriMo with a challenge.  I have problems with being challenged - I accept.  We met with others in Toledo and I became addicted.  So it has been these last dozen years.

I'm a NoNoWriMo addict.

[deep sigh]

I have made it a total of 2 full days into November this year and not written any words in an attempt to make my goal of 1667 words per day.  [shakes head]  That's a lie!  I have to be honest. I'm a big user.  My goal has been 1700 words each day since 2003 so I always know I'll hit the 50k with some words to spare at the tally verification moment. 1700 x 30 = 51,000.  I call it my 1700 fix.

Even now, this little mini-fix (blog) is causing my fingers to twitch.  I can't fight the sensation.  I have to try, I have to put to words and create another story that will languish in the cyber-space of my "writing" directory of my computer.

[stands proudly]

I can't say that NaNoWriMo has been all bad.  Three of my books, scribbled in the haste and darkness of night during the month of November have seen publication. My first was 2012: Timeline Apocalypse, my second was Ancient Blood: The Amazon and the third, Pangaea, Eden Lost.  A fourth, An Amish Voice, is currently with an agent seeking publication.

Now, if anyone would look at my schedule, they'd gasp in awe that a sane(?) man would even consider the rigors of attempting this feat today.  I have a novel of my own I have been editing in an attempt to release it before the end of the year.  In addition, I am awaiting two clients' manuscripts for editing - both of them novels which should arrive in today's mail or over the next couple of days.  PLUS, I offered to scan and edit a book for a friend.  My wife is a saint, but sometimes I press my luck.  I guess now would be the perfect time to mention that I also have a family who will be coming to celebrate Thanksgiving - I mean, 4 sons, their wives and all my grandchildren - all eight grandchildren!  Oh wait, some of the older grandchildren will also be bringing their boyfriends and girlfriends.

I can't squirrel myself into a back room and ignore them all for the holidays ... or can I?

OMG!  That's like four (4) days!!!  Without writing?  That's 6800 words!  And at the end of the month when time-crunching is imperative.  I just glanced at the calendar -- this is bad.  Thanksgiving comes at the very end of the month and there are no extra days after the 4 day holiday.  November 30th is Sunday.

[eyes widen in realization]

I'd only have mere hours on Sunday night after everyone leaves to catch up and try to finish before the Cinderella hour tolled.

[sweat breaks out on forehead and trembles course the body]

The challenge!  The challenge!

Maybe, just maybe, if I attempt it one more time and failed.  Maybe, possibly I would be cured and I would be free of this November curse once and for all.

Hmm?  I have this story rattling around in my head. It is a sequel to An Amish Voice.  Of course, there are a couple of other stories haunting the corners of my mind, too.

Oh, who am I kidding?  If I start now and do a little over 2k words each day and finish BEFORE Thanksgiving, I could easily get 50k words accomplished.  I could socialize with the family and not be the guy huddled in the corner trying to write. I could--

[a simpering glow of ecstasy overcomes me]

Well, I almost made it.  I mean, two whole days.  To quote an old-time (from my youth) Sunday morning comic strip "Snuffy Smith" -- Times a'wastin!

Yes, I'm going to get my NaNoWriMo fix YET AGAIN.  Now to make a snap decision - which of the myriad of stories banging around inside my brain am I going to pursue?

Until next I ramble on...


  1. It was because of you that I attempted my first Nanowrimo event (the only one I did) but my novel THE WORLD OF KAROV is from that and I thank you. I think it's great for people who need a kick in the butt, but I kick myself in the butt and write all the time, so I don't need that type of pressure this year. :)

    1. I write all year long but sometimes one novel idea screams like a spoiled child and wants attention to the detriment of the current project. That is why I do NaNo. Right now I'm working on one that has been screaming for the last 3 months and I've attempted to ignore. Hopefully, NaNo will get it out of my system temporarily.

  2. I first did the summertime novel-writing challenge and tapped out over 50,000 words as a "practice" novel that is still sitting around in manuscript phase. But in 2012, I fell into NaNoWriMo and produced One Shade of Red easily. With a good outline and a strong idea, as well as discipline, these things write themselves. Too bad they don't sell themselves, too.

    1. Now if they only came out with SE1MBO1MO - SEell 1 Million BOoks in 1 MOnth - that would really help. Actually, if I could sell 1k books a month, I'd be more than thrilled, even 100 would be good.

  3. Oh, I have had similar experiences to this, as an 11-year vet of the WriMo jones. Until this year, I churned words like mad through a word processor and fist-pumped when I hit 50K words in less than a week. This time, I am hand writing my NaNoNovel before moving it through a typewriter and into digital format.

    Yuck. NaNoWriMo is ha-a-a-ard.

    The ecstasy. The agony. The experience of the WriMo addiction. Great post for November writing junkies everywhere.

    1. I have a friend who does NaNo by hand which I think she is crazy but it works for her. She enjoys writing by hand - me? I love typing.

  4. I'm going to do it next year. But November is always a bad month. I need an NaJu contest. Can't believe you've done it so many times!

    1. I do believe they have a summer (June or July) type "camp" that is offered. Check out the website - and see what is offered during the year.

  5. I have far too many projects looming that have actual potential to be finished to start a new one. LOL!!! Good luck junky!!! LOL

  6. 1700 words a That's a lot! Impressive. One day I may try NANOWriMo...but not anytime soon I don't think.