Thursday, November 8, 2007

Nano update

It's hard to believe we're already one week into November. One week into the month of daily blog posting for NaBloPoMo and of writing a 50,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo. That and a Nor'easter will wipe a person out.

Thus far, I have posted to my blog every day (allowing myself a post I didn't quite post until the next day because of the storm), I have written 14,120 words of my novel-like construction (an average of 2,000 words per day), and I have met many interesting bloggers, novel writers, blogger-novelists, blogger-musicians, and blogger-artists.

The NaBloPoMo site is great for getting to know people and finding blogs of interest. About 6,000 bloggers are participating and there are a multitude of special interest groups (including cello bloggers). I have joined groups for people who are doing both the novel and the daily blogs, people who love books, people who love music, people who live in New England and people who live in Massachusetts, people who are creative, and people who sketch. I have a bunch of "friends," some of whom I have actually communicated with. I have checked out many people's blogs and they have checked out mine. It feels like a bustling social, colorful endeavor, and it has been fun meeting people.

(Even if you are not committed to writing a post every day, you might want to visit NaBloPoMo just to see what's happening and maybe find some new blogs of interest. You can still participate, even if you know you're not going to "win." If you are a member of CelloBloggers, you can just use your ning login information.)

Curiously, before November, I always had plenty of ideas about what to blog about, and I blogged frequently, though not quite every day. Some days, I would have to choose between 3 or 4 blogworthy (in my opinion) topics. Since the start of blogwriting month, I have been starting to wonder if I can find enough topics to make it through the month. I'm sure I can, but there is a little stress about this that I didn't expect to feel. I am thinking of starting a notebook of blog ideas, kind of a journal about a journal.

NaNoWriMo is a little different. It is hard to meet people there because the website is very slow, mainly because there are, I have heard, about 100,000 people writing novels this month. All my "writing buddies" on nanowrimo (except for one) are people I met on NaNoBloMo or Drawspace.
Even if you don't talk to your writing buddies, they are good to have because you can compare your word count with theirs, and, if they post an excerpt from their novel, you can read it. It is also possible to go to local gatherings of nano novelists and meet them in person. There is a meeting nearby tonight, and I might stop by on my way to early music rehearsal.

Both nanos have forums where you can read and post to your heart's content when you are not blogging or noveling. On the novel forum, I read the posts of a college student whose self-imposed goal for the month is to write not one, but three novels, and not 50,000 word (about 150 pages), but 100,000 word novels. (And you thought college students went out partying to relieve stress!) She finished her first 100,000 word novel on Monday, I think, about five days into the month. That is a lot of writing. She says she types very fast and she does not go back to edit. She or another fast writer said that they do not pause to think of exactly the right word or turn of phrase; they just plow through the writing. Well, to each his own, but 50,000 words is enough for me. And to me, writing involves a lot of thinking of just the right word to use.

Am I writing a decent novel?, you may ask. Probably not, but I am viewing this as practicing, kind of to figure out what I want to write, and where I want to go from here. It's experimental. I am glad I am doing this, and I have to say that I wouldn't be writing a novel if it weren't for nano. I would have quit the first day, saying this is just too busy a week (every week is) for writing. But, I am committed to aiming at 2,000 words a page. It is not that hard. I've been doing about 1,000 in the morning and another 1,000 in the evening, at one or two sessions in the morning and one or two in the afternoon. In terms of word count, 2000 words a day is really quite achievable, and a draft novel in a month, or even two, is quite doable, so long as you persevere. Of course it will need to be edited, but I usually enjoy that part of writing.

Because I have been so organized about writing this month, I have also been more organized about work and cello practice. Believe it or not, I am practicing more than usual, and also spending more time with family. I may collapse at some point, but, for now, all is well.

No comments: