NaNoWriMo: Can You Help Me Out?

Hey y’all, big favor to ask.

As you probably know, tomorrow NaNoWriMo starts. That’s National Novel Writing Month. You can learn more about it here: http://nanowrimo.org/ .

Every goldang year I want to do it, and every goldang year I’m too busy. I’m too busy this year. But I’m very tired of being too busy and I want to do it!

As you may know I’ve written a small pile of nonfiction books. When I was much younger, I wrote fiction. It probably wasn’t good fiction but I had fun writing it.

I don’t know if it’s all the nonfiction books I’ve written, but I feel like I have lost the ability to write fiction. Like my brain is in “nonfiction” gear and I can’t switch back.

2014 is not going to be the year that NaNoWriMo passes me by. I want to go for it.

But I could use a little encouragement and I would like to post updates on ResearchBuzz. I would like to think that someone out there gives a darn, or a hoot, or a buzz.

So if you wouldn’t mind reading NaNoWriMo updates at the top of ResearchBuzz for one month, could you let me know in the comments? Or send me a note via the feedback form?

I don’t know how it’s going to end up – I literally have no idea how to get started. But a little push from y’all would mean everything in the world to me.

Thank you!



Categories: Uncategorized

60 replies »

  1. Good luck. I need a NaNoReMo (National Novel Revision Month) for the novel I’ve been working on for 20 years in short bursts, finished a draft of in 2009, and have been meaning to get up to printable snuff for the last 5 years.

  2. I’ve been enjoying your blog for about a year now. I would love to read your NaNo updates!! Ever year I fall into the same problem with NaNo but I am determined to complete it this year t0o.

  3. Of course you can put your NaNoWriMo stuff here! I’m sure that most of your readers would love to read your updates It’s Research Buzz, of a sort: reports from the frontlines of a first time NaNoWriMo participant. Go for it!

  4. Do it! I wrote fiction endlessly as a kid but lost the spark in high school and I miss it. But NaNo is too much of a stretch for me. So I’ll be living vicariously through you. πŸ˜‰

  5. Love it!

    Have you checked out Storium.com yet. It is billed as an online game that lets you and your friends tell stories together and play in imaginary worlds of your own creation. But, based on the game I’m playing, I think of it more as “writing in the round.” It gives you the option of getting a private group together or playing a “public” game. it is a little less daunting than setting out to right a novel.

  6. Do it! I’m a NaNo veteran, and it is TOTALLY possible. It doesn’t have to be good– in fact, it shouldn’t be! Just set yourself 2,000 words a day and then HIT IT. You will re-learn how to write fiction as you go!!

    And get yourself a copy of “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott, and read her essay “Shitty First Drafts.” You can do it!

  7. I used to enjoy reading (something like) me and my brain – trying to work (couldn’t find it, nor variants on that, in a google-search; I used to have a Bookmark, but that seems to have disappeared when I installed Mavericks) so, OF COURSE, I wouldn’t mind looking at NaNoWriMo updates for (merely) a month in the ResearchBuzz email. Please take this both as encouragement and a push!

  8. Go for it! I am excited for you!!! I have been trying to write a non-fiction book for years. Any tips?????

  9. Go for it!! It’s my first year at this, but I believe that reading about someone else’s efforts will encourage me as well. Eve of November 1, and I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll write about. I look forward to reading about your journey!! πŸ™‚

  10. I’d love reading your updates on NaNoWriMo…I depend on your refs in ResearchBuzz to lead me down interesting, relevant paths, so I’ll look forward to reading this new angle. (Besides NaNoWriMo is the best acronym ever.)

  11. A novel, yes! I am already imagining the protagonist as a smart ass with a unique perspective on the world. Can’t wait to eavesdrop on his/her conversations with self and with others.

  12. Once upon a time there was a non fiction author who wanted to write a novel. All she needed was characters, a plot, time to write, and encouragement. Lots of encouragement. So she used her researchbuzz wizard skills and found the desired encouragement. The End. OK, that’s hugely less than 50,000 words, but I’m not going to be the novel writer — you are. Yes, would love to follow your progress on Research Buzz!

  13. I’ve enjoyed reading ResearchBuzz since 2003, so I’d love to see your fiction at the top of the newsletter/blog.

  14. Um, considering all the favors you do for us every day…yes, of course I’m fine with you posting NaNoWriMo progress updates. Wishing you the best!

  15. I’m sure you can do this. My first year was 2006, and I was sure I wasn’t going to make it, but I did. Almost went down in flames but then pulled out. I did flop in 2007, but I was so physically and emotionally drained that was no surprise. Won every year between 2008-2013, including some very tough years. It is possible. Hard, especially the first time, but I am very sure you can do it. Heck, I find non-fiction harder.

    Wish I could offer you a few tips, but you don’t want me to write a novel here πŸ˜‰ and in any case, your mileage would vary.But although it is a real challenge, it is possible to conquer it. I’ve seen enough of your writing (and your personality, through your writing) to be sure that barrind a drastic emergency, you can do this. (By the way, at least half the years I won, I didn’t know what I was going to write about until the day before it began.)

    I will give you one tip. Yes, you are great at research πŸ™‚ but that takes time. So pick an idea that will – at least for the most part – let you cruise along with stuff you know or can make up (fantasy, science fiction, and alternate history are all great for that kind of thing). In your first year, it will save you some crucial time.

    One more tip: if you discover you have gone off the rails, don’t go back to rewrite. Just include a short comment that encapsulates the revisions you should make later, then write on as if they had already been made. The bonus to this is, you get the chance to tailor the earlier revision exactly to how the later story turns out.

    Oh, and I actively hope you do include updates in Research Buzz. Watching other people progress helps me. Choose some writing buddies. (I am WanderingAuthor over there, if you want to connect.)

  16. Hey Tara,
    I give a darn . . . and a hoot, and a buzz!
    I’ve been working online since ’97 and following RB since ’98 (back in the newsletter days). You got this! Go for it. I’ll be watching for the NaNoWriMo updates and I’m sure lots of others who have benefited from your SE, Research, and non-fiction tidbits over the years will, too.
    Fellow tarheel,

  17. You are a treat to read in short bursts, you would probably be just as good in longer pieces. So go for it, you know you want to.

  18. Do it, Tara. I published a couple of mystery novels years ago and loved the experience of writing fiction. I don’t know if you’re planning to make the “updates” be excerpts of the work as you write or whether they’re to be notes about the writing experience etc. I’d suggest the latter. My sense of it is that writing fiction, like a whole lot of other creative endeavours, is best done as a private act until it’s finished. For one thing, you don’t want to be swayed by readers’ opinions, do you? And they’re likely to be all positive and of the Rah, rah! kind, which isn’t a whole lot of useful help, perhaps.

  19. Hey, I’m 75 and just now writing what I’ve wanted to research and write for the last 40 years (art history) and wish I had done it sooner. Could have. Didn’t. You write very well; you just have to get your fiction hat on straight.

  20. Tara, I read ResearchBuzz every day and get a lot out of it. Thank you! As for NaNoWriMo–do it! It’s just 1667 words a day to finish 50K words. You can do that in about an hour. Put your fingers on the keyboard and type without censoring. Put music on your earphones at first if you have to drown out the critical voice. You’re just “getting down” a first draft–it doesn’t have to be great (or in linear order)!

    PS I’m a multi-published novelist under contract with a traditional NY house. My further advice is to 1) choose a genre to write in and 2) start with a main character. Go from there and have fun!

  21. I’ve been looking at your stuff for years. I’ll certainly read the updates. Life is short. Go for it. We generally only regret the things we didn’t do, seldom the things we do.

  22. Whatever trick makes you achieve your goal is worth pursuing. Don’t try to rationally analyze if it’s a valid path – just try it!

  23. Hi Tara,

    Reach for the stars! I learned a lot from your books: especially “Spidering!”

    Best wishes…

  24. Let it roll, T!

    Don’t put it off any longer. You’ll kick yourself if you let this pass by again.

    Nothing feels better than getting the job done, no matter what the job might be … =)

  25. Hello Tara, I DO give a darn, hoot AND buzz! I did let know before, but I’m happy to repeat it: I admire the energy you put into your newsletter. It’s funny, well informed and really useful. So please do keep up your good work!

  26. Hey Tara — leave the NaNoWriMo updates. It will be fun to live vicariously through you, and cheer you on. πŸ™‚

  27. Write about something you know about. Maybe a blogger who discovered a new search engine that’s nefarious, and their struggle to discover who’s behind it. πŸ™‚

  28. As a procrastinating writer, I’ll read with envy. To get started you might want to try short random writing exercises. 3-5 minutes of free form writing. When you’re done, look over what your subconscious produced to see if there is anything you want to expand.

  29. The highest calling is storytelling. Non-fiction gives us knowledge while “fiction” can give us wisdom. I feel that the term fiction is at least as abused a term as amateur. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is categorized as fiction, but contains only truth. I could list the dry facts of segregation, two tier justice, fear of the ‘different’, etc., but this wouldn’t give the perspective, wouldn’t draw one into such issues as does a well written novel. Cars are seldom purchased based solely on specifications and are certainly not sold thus. Engaging one’s imagination, putting one in the driver’s seat is what selling is all about. Such power can be used for good or ill and I am sure that each person can name the novels that opened their minds to a truth that changed them forever. I would never suggest fewer bad or ‘ignorant’ novels be written, as I have an overall trust that”truth will out”, but pray that more novels appear with novel, rather than recycled, ideas restoring the term to past glory.

  30. Hi Tara

    I’m a bit behind with my ResearchBuzz updates, but now I read your plea for a gentle push and here it goes: Yes, please, write something and tell us how you get along.

    Good luck and lots of ideas.

Leave a Reply