Sunday, April 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo (Why picking the right metaphor will always win an argument)

NaNoWriMo - abr, noun, verbable noun, lifestyle.

National Novel Writing Month
Project each November in which hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers slowly lose their mind as they try to write a 50 000 words (or longer) novel in 30 days. Great fun.
Accepted forms: WriMo, WriMoing, WriMoer, WriMoes, NaNo- as adjective form. 

This month is not NaNaNoWriMo. It is in fact April, as the clever ones of you might already have noticed. And April means Camp NaNoWriMo! NaNoWriMo's chubby little cousin. The concept is the same - write a set number of words in 30 days, but the setting is more relaxed, you're grouped together with other writing campers in your digital cabin, and you set your own word count goal. Some take the opportunity to go for a lower, more easily achievable number. Some aim for the stars and do triple or quadruple word-counts. I, once again, run for 50K. An average of 1667 words a day for 30 days.

Now, the intention is always that you should write one continuous text, but WriMo has always been relaxed in it's rules. If you do anything outside the intended function, you're not a cheater - you're a rebel! This year, I'm rebelling. I'm writing two different novels at once.

One of them is the sequel to my NaNoWriMo victory (i.e. the novel I wrote in November, if you need the less gloaty terms). It is easy and fun to write, I know the characters well, I play with words and references and have a blast.

The second project is a text I've been trying and retrying for years, but finally think I found a voice for. It's much more serious, more realistic, less word play, more feelings, more thinking - just a harder write. Now, to begin with I just wrote out a few pages of this one because the thought of it was clouding my Book 1-time, but the switching back and forth worked much better than I thought it would, and I've kept going.
It feels a little like writing out a split personality disorder, but it works.

However, well meaning friends have offered input, and taught me something important about metaphors and similes - it's all about choosing the right one. Also, it has taught me that I should be forever grateful I communicate so much via e-mail and chat, so I have proper time to think out obnoxious ways to 'win' discussions. Even good girls should be allowed some fun.

Well meaning friend: It's like being on a train journey with two different end stations, at some point you'll have to choose which part of the train you're going to stay on.
My response: No, the train is going to station 50 000 words. I'm just enjoying the view from both sides of the train.

Well meaning friend: If you are to give equal attention to two projects, your focus and creativity will be thinner on both sides. Why not do one at a time, spread your brilliance thick, and then do the other later?
My response: I've divided my creativity and focus equally and spread it thick on two half pieces of toast. I'll butter the other halves later. It's like economic breakfast.

Well meaning friend: It's not like these two writing projects are the only thing you're trying to do though. You have school and work and all those other projects too. You're making a huge garden, with tons of flower beds but you only have so much water and fertilizer or whatever. Makes your flowers all weak and pouty.
My response: No no, I only have one flower bed, but instead of filling it with like two types of flowers, I put in 10! Makes it look a little more like a wild field or something.

Well meaning friend: You're just arguing for the sake of it now, aren't you?
My response: Yeah, pretty much, but I still won.

They're probably right. But I'll deal with it when I've written 50 000 words. This post is technically on the procrastination station, so I should get back to work.

Also, this made me laugh:


  1. There's nothing wrong with running multiple project at the same time! I've got four development projects on the go, and am dividing my time between them and an online course I'm doing.

    This isn't forgetting the careful read through of a book someone kindly sent me - a serious sit down with it is due tomorrow night.

    1. I am stil super happy you're doing that! =) I should probably add that I have about 5 other big time-consuming projects outside of Camp NaNoWriMo though... but it works for me. I work best under simulated schizophrenia, I think!