Monday, October 29, 2012


That mad time of year is almost upon, not Christmas but National Novel Writing Month. It's the time of year that makes agents fear for their slush pile in December. It's that time of year when many people who aspire to write - try it for the first time. It's the time of year that I love. It comes at the worst possible month for me - always. November never fails to be one of my busiest months...personally and as a writer but I long for NaNo every year....

Why? It means freedom. It means stretching the writing muscle, writing for the sheer joy of it. Writing without thought to publication. It is the one time of year I can truly turn the internal editor off and write what ever comes into my mind. I write for me.

The first of November begins a month of just writing...bliss. It is even more appealing now that I've been published. The weight of expectation is upon me, but not for NaNo. No one has to see what is written - ever. If on day one I want to write a sci fi gothic tale of medieval chivalry...then I can and if on the second it becomes a dark urban fantasy that's good...on third it may move from first person present tense and on fourth to omniscient narrator...

The joy is... it doesn't's time to experiment and push the boundaries. Each day is nothing more than a creative writing assignment and it is so good for the writing soul. Two years ago I wasn't going to do NaNo but I woke on the first of November and began only with a title and not a clue of where I was going....bliss. The Summer of Black Hare was created and I wrote a long piece of fiction for the first time in first person...before I had been to afraid, to afraid of failure, but with Nano the only failure is not writing and that is a gift.

NaNo gives you permission to write what ever comes into your head...even if that is I want chocolate's permission to experiment, it's permission to be total crap, to try all the techniques you have read about but were afraid to ruin the work in progress. NaNo means give it a go...

What NaNo doesn't mean is that you have a perfect work ready for the world - you won't. At best you will have a very dirty draft and worst you will have 50,000 words of drivel....but you will have used your writing muscle in a different way and have grown as a writer because of it. You will be stronger when you write your next proper book....

Are you doing NaNo this year? Even though I am doing edits on A Cornish Affair I'm hoping to wake on 1/11/12 and begin something fun but I just don't know what yet!


  1. It does sound like fun! I'm seriously thinking about it, but perhaps just doing it by myself, ie. not "officially". I love the idea of just waking up on 1st November and writing whatever comes into my head :)

    1. I agree! I've been thinking about it, and this year, I think I'm going to use it as a guide and inspiration - not too _officially_ participate, but to aim personally for that goal of roughly 2,000 words or whatever a day. I love the freedom that gives, and all the wonderful ideas that can bubble up when you give yourself that much liberty to just write!

  2. Christina - it's good fun and it does help to bring a little of the 'joy' back into writing because of the freedom. x

  3. Hmmm I was going to use it to add words to my first draft of Silver Assassin... but now you are tempting me to just write whatever comes into my head. Mind you I suppose I could still do that with SA. Thoughts? x

  4. My daughter always does NaNo, and puts me to shame. There's nothing like having a 13 year old coming downstairs in the evening and asking, "And how many words did YOU write today, Mummy?" to make you feel Wholly Inadequate :-)

    But this year, I may just try to keep up with her. I haven't had a chance to really get a good start on my new novel, so maybe I'll use NaNo as my kick in the pants to get going.

  5. Biddy - what is going to be best for your writing? Only you know the answer...

    Susanna - I was hoping to try and fling a first draft together but I have a feeling I'll still be wrestling with edits...might try and get my 13 yr old DD to join in but I'm not sure I could stand the competition.