NaNoWriMo ’08 was a mixed pleasure for me. I had chosen a not complicated storyline with many autobiographical elements and after plotting it all into yWriter I felt pretty comfortable. In the beginning the writing progressed well but I quickly noticed that this writing 1667 words a day – no matter what quality – was something different than I am used to. It was fun to notice that writing 50.000 words in a month is possible and the thrill of seeing a book evolve was very nice and fulfilling. Plotting is something I had not really done before but it seemed to work well.
I got quickly bored however by just filling out the chapters and the thoughtless typing down what I remembered and wanted to say and soon after I got convinced that the quality of the writing itself was horrible. It felt like forcing.
It made that I wasn’t very interested in the what I was doing and halfway through the month I even started looking for distraction that would prevent me from writing (thanks Ubuntu!).
The whole exercise has given me the idea that a lot is possible and what I wrote is of personal importance for me, or rather the fact that I wrote it. I don’t think that I will join again next year. It seemed to me to be a waist of time to produce something so forcefully and to know that 90% of it is garbage because of it.
I left my carefully build writing habits and I will need to make an effort to get back into it and to reset my mind and intensity in writing.
Ubuntu 8.04 has the honor of being the main excuse for not writing enough in the NaNoWriMo ’08. So before telling about my experience with the writing event I can already report that I certainly won’t make it to the 50.000 words that are required to ‘finish’ succesfully. But maybe it helped me to – after many days of trying, reading and retrying – get Linux/Ubuntu running. After the installing came a long lasting and enjoyable task of looking what it all was about and of finding and trying out new programs for just about everything -including writing. Unfortunately the program I used to organize and write the whole NaNoWriMo project is Windows based and doesn’t work well in Linux (using Wine) and I have some difficulties getting the mail program and its todo-list and calender to work as I want it to. The whole underlying structure of Linux and its possibilities are not very clear to me yet and it seems I have to run “sudo-apt install ‘some years of knowledge and experience’ ‘ somewhere before I truly can get to terms with it. So be it -because so far I like it.
This year I decided to join the group of about 100.000 people that each one of them will try to write a 50.000 words novel in the month of November. Everything is allowed as long as it is fiction-novel and every one of the 50.000 words is written in this one month. In order to reach the number of words one has to write 1667 words a day on average, so the idea is to have fun and just write and don’t look back. Editing and rewriting is for the month of December or for 2009.
You can read all about it on the www.nanowrimo.org page.
I worked out a plot and I am basically ready to start. It would be nice to be able to “win” the challenge and reach this magical number of words, but I am already enjoying the enthusiasm of the whole project.