NaNoWriMo Diary. Putting Pen to Paper.

I’ve started. It’s only the 2nd of November and I have written 170 words so far of this year’s NaNoWriMo novel. Last year I didn’t bother at all, and the year before that the month was halfway through before I put pen to paper. Or, more accurately, before I tapped the keyboard and formed some words on a – what exactly do the words form on? They appear on a screen, but where do they form?

 And do I care? I’m not sure, perhaps I do. I’m intrigued now to think about this – how exactly do they form even? If anyone knows, please do tell – in the language you might use when explaining to a chimpanzee because most chimps probably understand as much about computer innards as I do.

Photo courtesty rattigon via Freedigitalphotos

We just got my laptop back from the repairers today, where it went because the trackpad wasn’t working. The computer couldn’t even figure out that it had a trackpad! You’d have thought it had been on the booze the way it behaved, but it turned out it was nothing stronger than tea that did for it. Yes, someone had spilled tea into its nether regions and forgot to mention it to her parents. Poor girl, she had wiped it up so thought it would be okay. And it is, now, more than £100 later. Not that this has much to do with NaNo, but in a way it does. I bought that laptop in the summer, just a week before we set off on the last visit to my Dad before he died. I bought it because we had been planning to work together on recording his memories from World War Two, but Dad got ill days before our trip and didn’t get to do anything. I did think about trying to work on his story during this month, but it needs more research and besides it’s too soon.

In any case, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do NaNoWriMo. I did find the experience worthwhile the last time I did it – it helped me recognise several beliefs had caused writing blocks and it was exhilarating to finish. But I’m busy with a variety of other writing projects and the last NaNo novel I worked on is as yet unfinished. It went veering off in directions I didn’t expect, and I have never been able to quite rein it back in. I did consider starting again with it, doing a new version this year and seeing what came up. But it’s a sprawling novel that perhaps should even be two books, and that’s not what I feel like tackling in a month of intense writing. I wanted something more manageable, something that it would possible to complete in 30 days and 50,000 words or so. I know the plot of this new novel from beginning to end, which was not the case with my last attempt at NaNo. This one feels like something I can easily do, that I can relax and enjoy. The story has the potential for humour, and after the year our family has had, that seems exactly what I need.

This evening the rest of the family are watching television in the next room, so conditions for writing aren’t ideal. I could blame that for my procrastinating (otherwise known as blogging) but I admit it has little to do with that. Actually, I’m blogging to prevent me procrastinating as a way of recording my progress, to encourage myself to keep going. If I keep going at my current rate, NaNoWriMo promises I will finish by May 29th, 2015! I’ve also noticed the stats page shows that my home city has already written 450,000 words, and over 300,000 of those were written yesterday. So either there’s an huge lot of people writing, or there’s an huge lot of people… um… cheating?

If you are also doing NaNo, then drop me a comment and we can spur each other on.


  1. This year I was going to give NaNo, a try but other things got in the way. I already know that you’ll get her done without any problems at all. I feel you’re a writer that is driven to set out to do something and you end up with great results. I’ll be here on the sidelines cheering you on.

  2. Susan, I am not surprised you aren’t doing NaNo this year, with all you are going through. Your health comes first, and if you are cheering from the sidelines for those of us doing NaNo, you can be sure we are doing the same for you on your journey through this – 1000 times over.

    Thanks for your vote of confidence in my ability to get this done, I’ll remember it on the 30th of November if I’m still a few thousand words down.

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