To NaNo or Not to NaNo and Happy Albanyversary to Me

 One of the questions that is probably troubling you at the moment is this: How do I know whether I’m a writer? And the question can only be answered with another question: Well, do you write? If you don’t, you’re not. If you do, you are. There’s nothing else to it.
–Nick Hornby

This is one of my all time favorite quotes, but one of my all time favorite writers, and, this time of year, it’s especially apt. We’re ten days out from the start of National Novel Writing Month, and I am not signed up for it yet. I don’t know if I will be, and I may not know until the starting pistol has indeed been fired. This is not entirely a bad thing.

I love the support in NaNoWriMo, love my local group, have met friends through last year’s journey…but the book? Well, I wrote it. Did I make 50K? I don’t think so, but the truth is, I don’t remember or feel like going back to check. The whole thing felt and feels as appetizing as a snack of wet cardboard, so that’s a sure sign that something about that whole particular endeavor was not right for me.

This year, I want to have a different emphasis. Not so much focus on word counts, but on what counts. For me, that’s telling the story, and listening to the story so that I can tell it. Does that always conform to hitting a certain amount of words on a particular day? No. Does that mean the story moves forward? Yes. Are those always the same thing? Not always.

I did Camp NaNo this year, and won that. Had fun doing it, too, and I suspect being able to set my own word count goal helped somewhat. Confession: I am not a word counter. I can tend to obsess if I do keep that in mind, and end up in a fetal position under the dining room table, clutching a stuffed fish (plush) and muttering something about Zwieback. It’s not a fun place to be. In the end, I suspect I will do what is best for me at the time I need to make the decision. In either event, I will be posting and documenting here, because pretty much anything is more fun for me if I can blabber about it.

Washington Park sunset

Washington Park sunset

Two years ago today, my family packed up our entire lives and departed the old country for the brave new world of Albany, NY. My only regret was not being able to convince all our beloved CT and MA friends to move with us (or for that matter, FL, CO, MI, etc; if I could ever have everybody I love in one huge room, that would be paradise.) I cannot say how good it feels to be home. I want my writing and the books that come from it to be home as well. Same with this blog.

It’s all a process. It’s also a journey. Some twists, some turns, some whoa-what-is-thats, but I have to trust that it’s going to take me where I need to be.

2 thoughts on “To NaNo or Not to NaNo and Happy Albanyversary to Me

  1. I think you have the right attitude about NaNoWriMo, whether you decide to do it or not. You shouldn’t jump into it if you will be miserably and the quality of your writing will suffer (or disappear entirely). This may be a useless suggestion, but you could always be a NaNo rebel and make your own word count and simply write more than usual during November to take advantage of the burst in the writing community. Anyway, it seems like you’re giving it good thought, and I’m sure you’ll do what is best for you in the end. Good luck!

    • Thanks, Kate. If I do sign up for NaNo, I will definitely be in the rebel camp. I’m still weighing my options, and I’ll pick what’s best for me at the time it’s right to decide. No matter what, I will be writing, so that’s already a win in my book. Pun intended. Thanks for stopping by.

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