To NaNo or Not to NaNo – Help!

Lord, I’m such a waffler! In my last post My NaNoWriMo Dilemma (Oct 5), I’d laid out my dilemma with NaNoWriMo. Well, I reached the goal I’d set out in that post (to have my third draft of my current WIP done and sent to Betas) but I still hesitated committing. I felt like I was still burning hot with enthusiasm for this current WIP and if I just worked hard enough with it, I’d have a chance to get it picked up (one can dream, right?). Stopping to do NaNo will distract my feeble brain like a shiny trinket, and I might not regain my enthusiasm for this current WIP.

So, after much deliberation, I decided not to do NaNo this year. It was tough, especially as I know more writers this time around and NaNo is being talked about more than ever, I just know it’ll be even more fun this year.

But, now I’m at that cooling off stage for my current WIP as I wait for feedback from my Betas and I feel like I’m spinning wheels. I’d established good writing/revising habits over the summer and now that time is being sucked up by building my author platform. Don’t get me wrong, that’s important too, but I suspect I’ll be able to find a nice balance pretty soon and I might then drop my current schedule and start sleeping in, etc. Anyway, this is all to say I’m now having second thoughts about NaNo. Maybe I should do it? But I don’t even have an idea yet! Perhaps I could do a sequel to my current WIP so that I’m still in that story world.

Then in December I could let that WIP cool, and pick this one back up?

Experienced authors, what do you think? I’m really close to the stage of querying my current WIP. Should I stay with it and not get distracted by NaNo? Or would it be good to start a new project at this stage?

8 Replies to “To NaNo or Not to NaNo – Help!”

  1. I’m not one of those “experienced athors” from whom you actually requested opinions, but here’s my thought anyway… There’s nothing to lose in giving it a go, since there’s no “penalty” if we change our minds midway… Speaking for myself, some “time in a drawer” is needed for any piece of writing before I can even begin to look at it objectively, so (as you’ve already noted) a short-term new project could be just the thing. That’s just my two pennies–it’s YOUR November! 😉

  2. Hi Angela,

    I’m not an “experienced” writer, in fact, never published, but I have done Nano now for four of the past six years and finally won last year for the first time. (!) I too am considering sitting this one out, but mainly because my schedule is not conducive to it this year. I was scanning the “writing” section of WordPress when I ran across your post. Not sure what “betas” are, but is sounds like you’ve got your latest into some sort of editor. I guess my view is that Nano is totally personal: your goal, set by you, to do whatever you want it to accomplish with thousands of people cheering you on. You could start it, with the caveat that if you get your current thing back, just drop out and focus where you need to. Nano guilt is only self-inflicted, right? You’d still have the creative juices flowing, so if you had to go to re-write mode, it wouldn’t be that much of a shift, though I realize re-writing and composing are two different animals.

    I’m still waffling also, but it’s going to depend more on what my work schedule is for next month…AAAAgh! It’s only four days away! “I think I’d better think this out again.”

    1. Hi Steve! Congrats on finishing last year! You’re right, of course I could look at it as a way to keep the creative juices flowing and drop if need be. I hate to break my 2 for 2 streak though so am also feeling like if I do this I must commit to finish. Good luck with carving out time with your work!

  3. It might be a good idea to start pecking out the sequel. I might go nuts with no set writing plan in mind while something else was off getting edited/reviewed.

    Whatever you choose, I hope it goes well for you. (And thanks for linking to my blog!)

  4. I think you made a good choice sticking with your current WIP. I see great potential for Isabelle and Montagu!

    CC Member

  5. You know you want to do it! Come on, it won’t hurt at all. It’s especially good therapy when you have nothing else to do but edit and polish.

    I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m turning in my manuscript to my editor Dec 1, the day after NaNo ends. Now, if I wasn’t doing NaNo, I’d probably be ruining my manuscript. NaNo is a release! I can be free of constraints, indulge myself in flights of fancy and get to know some new characters, did I almost say people? Yes, new people, too.

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