Wednesday, 1 November 2017

IWSG November 2017

Here we again for our monthly posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group - who can believe for the penultimate time this year? Craziness. Of course, this is the day when we can gather to share our writing insecurities and woes without fear of judgement. Hosted as ever by the erstwhile Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, today's excellent co-hosts are Tonja DreckerDiane BurtonMJ Fifield and Rebecca Douglass!


Don't forget today is the closing date for the IWSG Anthology Contest 2017, so you still have a few hours to polish and submit your entries on the theme of Tick Tock - so remember it has to involve a clock, a specific time, or is time-sensitive in some way. Look forward to reading those latecoming entries! Find more details here.

With that wonderful annual event NaNoWriMo kicking off today, and many of you potentially taking part, today's IWSG question is well-timed: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Well, I have to say that NaNo has been good to me, although I've only taken part three times - 2012, 2013 and 2014. That first year was when I started writing Black & White, and although I didn't win, I was excited enough about the story to take it forward and eventually publish it this year. In 2014, I "rebelled" by going in with a draft already started - part 2 of the trilogy - and won. 2013 - well, I started writing (with a completely different story) and was right on track until a devastating personal event cut it short on November 9th. Many of you will know about that. Who knows where that story could have gone - maybe one day I will pick it up again, but at the moment the associations are just too painful.

So yes, overall I would encourage anyone to give NaNo a try if you're struggling over getting started on a project, or even finishing one. It doesn't give you a lot of time to think or hesitate - it's just about jumping in and feeding off some of that adrenaline that seems to course through the writing world in November. Oftentimes, gut feeling and instinct take the upper hand - which is usually a good thing for any story.

Good luck to everyone taking part this year! Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year, or have you done so before? If not, would you consider it? 

28 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - interesting to see Black and White started off via NaNo .. good luck to all taking the challenge and to all writers who will continue on their chosen path - cheers Hilary

JeffO said...

I think I only officially registered two projects with NaNo. The first one I completed in a rush of words over the final weekend (10,000 or so in a couple of days of frenzied writing). The other 'official' project I got nowhere on--I can't remember why, I may have gotten edits back on another project that needed my attention. I also did a NaNoReviMo one year with a loosely grouped...group.

I will definitely credit NaNo with loosening me up. Until that time, I had dipped my toe in the water, writing maybe ten or twenty pages on what could have been novels. Committing to NaNo helped commit me to writing, and while that first NaNo was a complete dud (even if it did win), by the time November was half over the wheels were already turning on what would be my first completed manuscript, which led to my first attempts at landing an agent and publication.

I do think NaNo is a good thing; sadly, my writing schedule rarely seems to match up with it. If I get the revisions I'm working on to my agent fast enough, I might use the project I have in cold storage as a NaNo project.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That one story may never be finished, but it's all right if it's not.
I thin NaNo is a great thing for those who need the kick in the butt and a deadline.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So awesome that your published book started from NaNo. And you gave it the time it needed to be revised before publishing it.

Nicola said...

So pleased NaNo fas given you positive experiences. Well done for all that hard work! I've never had the guts to commit. I hope all is well.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Everyone talks about their success with NaNo. If November wasn't such a crunch time for me, I'd jump in and finish some projects.

Julie Flanders said...

Interesting that Black & White started out as a NaNo project. I've had success with the event as well and hope to again this year.

The Cynical Sailor said...

That's neat that Black & White started off as a NaNo project and was published. Gives me hope that I might publish one of my NaNo projects one day.

Karen Walker said...

I've never done NaNo and really don't plan to, but it seems to provide inspiration and means for many others to get their novels at least drafted.

Nicki Elson said...

It's completely understandable that you wouldn't want to go back to that 2013 story. Congrats on having your very first NaNo project published!

Jennifer Hawes said...

NaNo is a nice way to get your writing grove back! Hope you get lots of writing in this month.

Diane Burton said...

NaNo doesn't work for everyone. But those who do have found it rewarding. I can be that kick in the pants that you need to jump start your work.

Liz A. said...

You'll come back to that story when it's time, but not before. Maybe not for a very long while. I'm joining you in the bleachers, as it were. Not doing NaNo. I've never done NaNo and am likely never to.

Erika Beebe said...

You still tried and that's something Nick. It's not for me for sure, but I am awe-inspired by all those who do give it their best shot.

D Biswas said...

NaNo is a brilliant way to get a good writing routine established! All the best with your writing, Nick.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Nick, thinking of you and sending you positive vibes through the Universe.

Heather

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've never participated but I like cheering my friends onward. My daughter is trying it for the first time.

Darla M Sands said...

I'm so sorry you faced such tragedy. May the project someday bring you fond memories and comfort (if that's possible) instead of pain. As for NaNoWriMo, a friend told me about it in 2010 while I still worked in an office full time. I thought it was nuts, but the next year I entered and won while still employed outside the home. I've since reached the goal every year (including during some April NaNo camps where I've set that goal to 50k, as well) but never went back to do anything with a single project. As it turns out I'm really better at short stories, so this year I'm working on related ones in my erotica series. This month started with my biggest opening word count to date, though not all of it's good. There are kernels of goodness, at least, and I like that I'm able to tell my inner critic to jump in a lake during this crazy mad dash. Happy Writing!

Mary Aalgaard said...

I'm excited to read Black and White. Thanks for sending it. So sorry for your tragedy. Keep writing and telling your stories.

Heather R. Holden said...

Very cool how Black & White initially started as a NaNo project, and that you were eventually able to publish it, too. I don't do challenges like that anymore, although I did try this one once, years ago. So true about NaNo being a time to just dive in--all the overthinking I did at the time is probably why I failed at it, haha.

Michelle Wallace said...

Sounds like NaNo has been good to you, Nick!
All the best with your writing! Happy November!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

NaNo is a great way to set a fire under yourself.

Chemist Ken said...

Winning or losing at NaNo isn't important. But if you take what you've written and turn it into something, then that's definitely a win. I'm too slow a writer to do NaNo, but it can be a useful way of getting those creative juices flowing again.

Lynda Dietz said...

Sounds like NaNo has brought you some highs and lows. I think it's a good tool for people who don't realize how much they can accomplish until it's broken down into bite-sized pieces.

Maybe someday you'll finish your other project, and maybe not. I'm sure you'll know when it's time.

Cherie Reich said...

Those types of events can make it hard to ever go back to a project. NaNo is a lot of fun, even though it can be stressful too. I'm glad I participated in the past, but I'm not participating this year. I do hope to try it again in the future.

DMS said...

Wonderful that two of your NaNo experiences were so good and it sounds like the third one was also starting off well before personal tragedy struck. I have always wanted to try NaNo- but so far I have not had the time in November (tends to be one of my busier months of the year).

Wishing all who are participating good luck. :)
~Jess

Patricia Lynne said...

Last year, I was a NaNo rebel and used it to motivate me to edit a project.

Lynda R Young said...

I don't think you have to finish to 'win' NaNo. It's a win just to get started!