NaNoWriMo 3: What I Love

609px-Love_heartKnowing what you love about NaNoWriMo and always being able to remind yourself of those seductive elements, is possibly the difference between finishing NaNo and getting your winners badge, or committing yourself to the wayside and another lost opportunity.

I learnt this important lesson, of focusing on what you love from my dear friend Dan Sinclair (aka Mama Magic). She wasn’t actually writing about NaNo when she imparted her wisdom, but about mothering. All too often (and I am one who falls into this trap) we can focus on what we hate, what we struggle with, what bogs us down, what we just don’t and can’t love enough or at all. It’s no wonder we get caught in all types of negative circular thinking. If instead we instead look to and cultivate the things we love and enjoy, AND have them at the ready, we really can get through any crisis or low point. Or even better, we can create environments, both internal and external, where we don’t end up having to deal with a crisis or low point

So I thought it would be a good idea to suss out what it is I love about NaNo in the lead in, to get a psychological jump start on November. Then if the going gets tough, as it will undoubtedly do at some stage, there will be a point of reference to return to and refresh myself on why I chose this somewhat crazy path (again!)

These are the ten dot points I came up with and over the next few days I will explore them in more detail.

  1. It’s all about writing fiction
  2. It gives me an opportunity to truly get lost
  3. It provides me with of a continuing story
  4. The thrill
  5. The twists
  6. The sense of accomplishment
  7. It brings an essence of simplicity back into my life because everything else takes a back seat
  8. I feel like a real writer
  9. It forces me to be mindful and create space in my life to write fiction, in other words, it forces me into a routine!
  10. NaNo brings with it a wonderful community of generous, talented and supportive writers.

When I’m having a tough day with my son I go and do something with him I love to do. I have those things filed away for quick and easy retrieval. The sure winner is always a walk holding his hand – I LOVE holding his hand. And that’s really what this post is all about.

I will be putting the dot points from this blather above my desk to remind me of what I love about NaNo. If I can even focus on one of them a day and soak up the love, then I do believe it will all go to plan … mostly, perhaps … if I poke my tongue out at this odd angle and hold it!

If I hit a really dark patch … I’ll try and wring something good from it, because there is a lesson if everythig if we’re open to it (and I’ve learnt two big lessons in the past two years – which is another post entirely!). At the end of the day, regardless of what goes down on any particular day in November, I will hopefully be sitting at my computer writing fiction and that can never really be a bad thing!

What do you love about NaNo?

Image: My Heart in Your Hands by Louise Docker via Wiki images


8 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo 3: What I Love

  1. This will be my first year so I don’t know what I will love about it come December 1st. I do love the concept though. I’ve been wanting to participate for a couple years now, but kept putting it off because I didn’t have the time. I don’t have it this year either, but I think if I always wait for the right time I’ll never do it. Plus I have no idea what I want to write yet. I bought myself a bottle of scotch to open when I hit 50k. I’m looking forward to that part.


  2. Chris;
    Don’t wait for $50K to open that Scotch — you’ll need it long before you hit 50K…

    Meanwhile, concentrate on writing the best book you can, as you get the time to do so. Just write, don’t think — yet.

    My first two books were completed on my laptop behind the cash register of our small retail gallery, so besides that fact making a comment about how slow business was at the time (much better now) it really means you can write anywhere, anytime, as long as you just start and do it.

    Then, after completion and developmental and content editing, if you wonder if it could be published, then it’s time to concentrate on making it the best book “product” you can make it. Then — submit often, after you’ve done your agent homework, be prepared to learn from mistakes, and toast yourself with that single malt whenever the need arises. Or become and Indie Author, if you have lots of free time. But don’t expect to get rich quickly — unless you write Vampire-based, upwardly mobile thirty-something fiction.

    As my wife, tolerant soul that she is, reminds me; If you so smart, how come you ain’t rich?


    • Thanks for the advice. As you say, I’m more interested in hitting the mark rather than crafting a best seller. I’m guessing most folks continue writing their projects after the month is complete. 50 thousand words seems like a short novel, almost half of what I thought was a traditional word count for fiction.

      Your wife sounds just like mine and your probably right about the scotch too. 🙂


      • 50,000 words is basically – as you point out Chris, half a novel.

        Thanks to NaNo I have two half finished novels on my hard drive. So while there is always the intention to finish what I have started – for reasons beyond my control December hasn’t been about writing.

        This year I am hoping to change that by:
        1. finishing what I started last year
        2. working towards November being about establishing and healthy sustainable writing habit
        3. having projects to go on with in December to maintain that momentun (well for at least part of December – my birthday is mid December and it all gets a bit messy in th run towards Christmas etc)
        4. establishing solid and supportive writing networks (which I think is pretty well on the way to happening)

        Part of me thinks I am preparing for the long haul this year. I’ve given more reflection on NaNo already than I have in other years. Or perhaps I’m trying to impart some of my wisdom.

        Write Anything is running a series of NaNo preparations posts starting the week of the 19th.


  3. This will be my first year as well, but I can’t wait. I think my goals (instead of what I love) for NaNoWriMo are:

    – to have fun,
    – meet other writers,
    – and write something I can salvage later (this being optional of course).

    Good luck to everyone participating.


    • I realised Tina after I posted this – that so many of my writing friends have never done NaNo before. I had not clear goal the first year other than to get over the line (which I did!) It will be good to share NaNo with old and new friends. While I want to get over the line again I’d like to see all my friends cross as well.


  4. Pingback: NaNoWriMo 3: What I Love | Publetariat

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