NaNoWriMo No Mo

I first heard of NaNoWriMo way back in 2009. My daughter, Carol and I had been writing together via Skype and she encouraged me to give it a try. Up until then I had written mostly non-fiction, but we had been writing 5 minute flash fiction from writing prompts and it was fun, so I thought, why not give it a try.

I had no plot going into NaNo, but wrote furiously. Throwing my characters into one situation after another, loving the twists and turns that the story was taking. I squeaked across the finish line on November 30th with just a little over 50,000 words. I had done it! I'd written a rough draft of my first novel. I was a novelist!

I let it sit for about a month and then went back to start revisions. I started reading through the manuscript and cringed about every five minutes. The writing was bad...really bad. The characters were fun, but acted inconsistently. The plot...what there was of it...was badly in need of a plot doctor.

In short, I was so overwhelmed by what it would take to fix the novel, that I put it back in a drawer and gave up.  Then I started reading book after book about writing fiction. By the next time NaNo rolled around I thought I was ready to write a real novel.

In 2010, I got to about the 10,000 word mark and fizzled out. Same with 2011 and 2012. This year thought I was ready. 2013 would be the year that I finished a NaNoWriMo novel. It didn't happen.  This year I got to 11,587 words and fizzled. I didn't know where to go next with my story. I got uptight. I liked the story so far, but I didn't want to just push through for the sake of a winning word count only to have to go back and fix the whole thing. I gave up. Not on the book, but on NaNoWriMo.

I was feeling like an utter failure until I read a post on Chip MacGregor's blog by Amanda Luedeke titled "Why I Hate NaNoWriMo" and suddenly a huge weight was lifted from my writerly shoulders.

excerpt from Amanda's post...

This is why I hate NaNoWriMo. It sets writers up to fail.
As if writers need yet another reason to question their craft. To doubt whether they’re cut out for this author gig. As if they need another reminder that they can’t do it. They’re failures. They should quit while they’re ahead.
NaNo does this to tens of thousands if not HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of writers each and every year. There are over 300,000 signed up for the program this year. Let’s say a two-thirds achieve the 50k in one month goal. That’s 100,000 WRITERS WHO HAVE FAILED.
I hate this. I hate this, I hate this, I hate this.
(read the entire article HERE)

Thank you, Amanda, for setting helping me see that failure to finish NaNoWriMo is not failure as a writer!

I'll finish my book, but I'll take my time and do it at a pace that won't make me crazy. I'll spend more time on character development and plotting and when I'm finished, I'll have a revisable book, not a heap of hopelessly confused words.

How about you? Did you start NaNoWriMo, but not finish? Did it make you feel like a failure? Are you going to finish your novel or did you give up? 

PS - for those of you who did NaNo and will finish - CONGRATULATIONS! I know it works for so many people and I'm glad. I'm just not one of them and that's OK.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!

Book Review - A Marriage in Middlebury by Anita Higman

 Just finished reading Anita Higman's newest release, A Marriage in Middlebury.

Imagine being deeply in love yet having to refuse the proposal of the man you love because accepting would mean shame and embarrassment for both of your families. To make matters worse, you can't tell him why you can't marry him.

Ten years later, that man walks back into your life with a fiancee in tow. Your feelings haven't changed, and from the look in his eyes, he's still carrying a torch of his own.

Author, Anita Higman
I thoroughly enjoyed this story about Sam & Charlotte's second chance at love. Were it not for Sam's conniving father's unimaginable cruelty, this couple would have been married years ago. On the other hand, were it not for a slightly quirky, well-meaning friend, who took matters into her own hands, Sam & Charlotte may have missed their second chance at love.

Aside from a good story, I fell in love with the little town of Middlebury. I'd love to visit Charlotte's garden behind the Tea House. Would also love to tour the Wilder home and grounds. The author brought the setting to life, drawing me right into the story.  Hoping there are Middlebury stories to come.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!

Off to a great start on my NaNoWriMo novel

Stayed up last night so I could start working on my novel at 12:01am and got in 1200 words. The best part, however was chatting with Shelby, my new NaNo friend from Texas until it was time for me to start writing. She's a real sweetheart. We wrote and cheered one another on until my eyes couldn't stay open anymore.

Then I hit it hard again this morning with a write-in at Crossroads Books and Coffee (my favorite writing spot) with my pal, Leola. Enjoyed some Salted Caramel Oatmeal and a Dark-Chocolate Caribou Latte while I wrote. YUM!

Current word count is 2706 words, so I'm a little ahead of the game right now. I'm really enjoying the story so far. In fact, the last chapter I wrote included a wonderful breakfast of huevos rancheros made by Maria, the ranch cook. Made myself so hungry, I had to come home and eat some lunch. Wish it had been what Maria made!

Found a blog with a yummy looking recipe for huevos rancheros over at Check it out.

Hope your NaNo novel is going well, too.

Happy Writing!

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it with your friends using the Facebook, Twitter and other share buttons below. Thanks!