Giving up NaNo

Word count on “Away with the Faeries”

15085 / 50000 words. 30% done!

So, I’ve completed 30% of the novel in the first week.  But despite my defense of NaNo on the metawriters site and elsewhere, I think I’ve decided to give up for this year and possibly for good.

I’m really not enjoying it the way I did the first year.  I’m too aware that the focus on getting the words out fast means that I am not thinking them through.  I’m getting very aware of all the massive editing problems I’m storing up for myself after I’m finished – such as needing to re-write chapter 3 in Chris’ POV rather than Ben’s.  I’m aware that my POVs are not balanced, and that my characters are tending to do things that don’t make psychological sense.  And that’s because I can’t tell what they’re feeling, because I’m writing too fast to be able to get into their heads.

It’s not working, and I’m thinking that I will switch back to my more usual pace of between 1,050 and 1,400 words a day, which has thinking time and looking-stuff-up time built in.  And also doesn’t make me snippy and unpleasant to my family and unable to answer my emails.  It might also allow me time for swimming, which I need on account of the fact that my shoulders are now so bad that I can’t wear jumpers (too painful to pull them over my head) or sleep properly at night.

At a pace of 1,050 words a day, I should get the first draft finished in three months (call it four to take account that not much writing happens over Christmas), and it should need about half the editing it would need if I did it in one.  Which may even end up being faster in the long run.

I don’t like to be a quitter but, as you can see, I am at least quitting while I’m ahead 🙂

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Jay Hartman
14 years ago

I can understand the frustration. There comes a point where I would think it feels less like a creative output and more like a contest. I don't think there's anything wrong with dropping out of it if you feel like you aren't feeling enriched by the experience.

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