Monday, November 3, 2014


November has finally arrived. That means it's NANOWRIMO.

If you are not a writer, or possibly even if you are a writer, you may not be familiar with this silly little acronym. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. And though the acronym is little, NANO is anything but. It's HUGE! 

I have attempted NANO twice now, and failed miserably both times. The idea is to write an entire novel during the month of November. Approximately 50,000 words is probably the average. 

That's a lot of writing for some. Others have no problem with it at all.

During the process of writing the novel, participants will encourage you to avoid all urges to edit. That is partly why I always fail. I just cannot leave things alone. I'm constantly going back and changing things, or waking up in the night and thinking, "Oh, wait, that won't work. I'll have to redo that part in the  morning." The editing eats up all my time and thirty days go by quickly when one is trying to make a deadline like NANO. 

But I'm not going to even bother this year. I have a project that I'm quite pleased with spending my time on, even though the going is slower than molasses on a cold morning. I'm researching for a historical middle grade novel. It, too, may be my undoing. 

Research isn't bad,  per se. But this project is really big, and I'm still trying to narrow it down to just a few people I want to center on. It's confounding to find so much conflicting information once I begin researching each individual. Dates don't always match. Sites that should have burial information list no such person. And my eyes are nearly bleeding from trying to decipher old letters that have been uploaded to internet sites. Don't get me wrong. I so appreciate the efforts others have made to afford me this information. I just wish it was easier to read.

As I said, though, I'm enjoying the work. And I'm finally learning a bit more about American History - which has always been a difficult concept for me. But I'm ready to begin the actual writing of the project, and I know I'm not ready yet. That's why I didn't even bother to sign up for NANOWRIMO. I am hoping this turns into a positive project and I may not even be finished with the research by the end of this month. 

In the meantime, and to fill in when my eyes can no longer stare at a monitor, I picked up a few promising titles at the library this morning. 

I really AM writing every day, but I don't consider notes to be quite the same thing.


Cordelia Dinsmore


Sharon Ledwith said...

Bleeding eyes! I can relate, Cordelia! I never do NaNoWriMo. I've got too many projects on the go. Love history. One of my time travel books is slated to visit the time of the Civil War. Perhaps I could pick your brain when the time comes. Best wishes for your newest project. And BTW - writing research notes is STILL writing! Cheers!

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

Thanks for coming by, Sharon. I'll just give you a heads-up and say my brain is often slim pickings!

And I know it's still writing, but I'm ready to get to the official part now. And I interrupted fashion research to come over here and talk to you.

Post a Comment