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Where are you with your #NanoWriMo Prep? #Writing

Tomorrow, Nanowrimo begins.

Nanowrimo logoI try not to write too much about my writing process (it is about as pretty and appetizing as sausage-making, or stuffing a turkey.) I can only hope what I put on the table at the end of it doesn’t turn your stomach.

But this November, I’m making an exception (you can read why, and what’s Nanowrimo, here). On each Monday of this coming month, I’m determined to check in, and make public the humiliating spectacle that can be (my) writing life during NanoWriMo.

I’m often asked what I do with my time, and I reply: reading, writing, eating, sleeping. I don’t mention the proportions of each, and what else is involved. I want to make that public for two reasons:

  1. The threat of the public disgrace might spur on the word count.
  2. To discourage the rampant glamorization of the fiction writing business.

Each year, come Nano time, I used to sniff privately and mutter, well, anyone can write a pile of crap in a month. I write every day, all year. I submit to tons of places, get rejected. I wrote a novel over the last few years, and so on, and you know, so forth. Who are these Nanowrimo hobbyists writing for that One month?

But that was not a sentiment I was/am proud of. Each writer’s journey is different. Everyone has a unique purpose, commitment, expectations. People come to writing for all kinds of reasons; they deserve respect for their individual motivations.

Nanowrimo outlineSo, this year, I’m going to join in this Nanowrimo mega-endeavour.

I’ve done some research–I continue to do it–and I have–gasp–an outline!

Having never outlined anything before writing a first draft (I do my outlines before my second drafts, if at all), ever before (and at last count I have about 800,000 written words– 60,000 published stories and about 20,000 published non-fiction– under my belt) it feels like a unprecedented professional milestone. Not sure if I should laugh or cry at that thought. A bit of both, perhaps. I’m more of a free-fall kind of a writer, but this year, I’ve decided to work on a bare guideline, at the very least. I have permission to veer off track whenever I want, so I don’t chafe at the bit too hard and quit.

If you read this blog, I need your support. Throw at me coffee, chocolate, tea, virtual hugs, curses, wine; ask me how it is going on twitter: in short anything you think likely to help me reach that 50k line.

If you’re a fellow Nano-er, buddy me on BiswasD. And maybe join the Nanowrimo Social media Bloghop here, so we can follow each other.

Are you joining the Nanowrimo? What have you been up to lately? Any tips on piling up the word count?

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • pjlazos says:

    So where are you, Damyanti? Have the words swallowed you whole or are you writing your way through them?! Keep going! I know you’ll get there!! oxo

  • I guess having fellow writers who all are working to put that 50k together is a major motivation. I have added you in NaNoWriMo as a buddy. Being a technical person, I dont write much(I really don’t have a good writing style) and this is my first time too. Thus far, has been a feel good journey.

    Good to get in touch here! 🙂

  • Rupali says:

    Good wishes!

  • I’m in NaNoWriMo too. I’ll search for you 🙂

  • mitchteemley says:

    Write on, Damyanti!

  • Sonya Rhen says:

    Good for you! I love your validation of the NaNoWriMo writers. I had done it since 2008, but due to family circumstances which continue on to this year, I’m unable to commit to it this year and didn’t finish last year. I miss it. I applaud your efforts and cheer you on! 🙂

  • dgkaye says:

    Good luck D! Nope, I don’t have the time this year. Too busy writing a million other things. Wishing you lots of luck. Sending you some hugs, virtual chocolate, and clinking a virtual glass of wine to you. <3

  • cathum says:

    Hope the writing is going well. Looking forward to keeping track of how you do this. Good luck 🙂

  • Nov 7 – I keep hopping over here, hoping to read a word or two of how your novel is coming along. No pressure – simply the encouragement of interest.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Hi Madelyn, that’s so sweet of you…I’m at 17k tonight, so on schedule, but have to travel starting next week, so need a huge bank in order to be able to go a day or two without any words at all!

      • You are made of stiffer stuff than I! If I have no tick-tick-tick “inspiring” me to a count, the words flow. Pressure me, and I spend more time counting the darned things than writing them!

        Enjoy your time away from the keyboard. I’ll bet you’ll come back with new ideas. I’ll be watching – and cheering from the sidelines.

  • lynnefisher says:

    Good going with an outline, it should help keep you on track. I bet it was tough going though. I do admire you for having a go with this. My way of tackling it would have to be thinking of it as a very long short story, a kind of novella. Good luck!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      This is my second novel– so am finding it relatively easier, though NOT easy :). The outline is helping, but it is more of a guideline than a roadmap.

  • pjlazos says:

    Oh my gosh, Damyaniti, you’re so organized!! I barely managed to get started let alone do flash cards! This is the first time doing NaNo for me, too, and it’s a little bit intimidating. If I didn’t have a life, 1600+ words, good words, not just drivel, would be an easy feat, but the life stuff is time consuming so it’s got to be 1600 words of whatever comes out, not drivel, per say, but whatever and the words may not fit together or even be relevant to the words that came out the day before. I’ve got it in my head that if it doesn’t flow from one day to the next, DON’T PANIC, just keep writing and sort it all out at the end. So if your unable to stick to your outline from day to day, just keep writing. You’re an amazing writer and you’ve got this!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. I really, really need them today.

  • ladycee says:

    Admire you and all participants for even considering taking part. Perhaps one year I too will join the throng. All the best!

  • Nov. 3 – You must be doing VERY well with your NaNo goals if you’ve got time to run around the ‘net supporting the posts of others. THANK YOU for liking “TIME to think about Group Coaching” – eager to hear of your progress.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  • Just chiming in to send good wishes to you. Go, Damyanti, Go!
    Thirty days and 50K (or more) might be a challenge for me. I’m afraid of missing a day here and there and then having to write 3K or 6K in one day, although I did achieve a personal record of almost 5K yesterday (on deadline; wish me luck–I’ll take all I can get!) I’ll tweet you, too. I think our timezones are vastly different, but if I’m up at night, maybe we could even do a writing sprint if you’re not too busy?
    Anyway, thanks and again, keep on doing what you do so well!

  • mistspell says:

    Don’t forget to have fun!

  • B.L. Daniels says:

    Good luck! There’s 24 hours in every day, which is plenty to fit 1600 (or more!) words into.

  • Arlee Bird says:

    Mmmm! Turkey with stuffing. I usually make a batch of sausage stuffing and one of oyster dressing. Forget NaNo this year. I’m going to plan Thanksgiving dinner.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  • Jemima Pett says:

    I don’t do NaNo cos it’s in November… but I do Camp Nano once or twice a year. Good luck, and remember, it’s just one word after another, and you don’t need to throw any of them away until December.

  • ksb59 says:

    HI Damayanti! it sounds to be quite exciting. I would love to join

  • All the power to you & I hope you achieve what you want in this month. Have a great writing month 🙂

  • simonfalk28 says:

    Go Damyanti! In all the misgivings, stress etc, I hope you also have some time to savour and delight in your story too. 🙂

  • syddent says:

    I am trying this for the first time too. I am hoping I can keep up the pace.

  • Dan Antion says:

    I wish you, and all the NaNo’ers a stress-free and productive month.

  • jazzfeathers says:

    I’m so happy you joined the fun!
    I’ve done NaNoWriMo nine times over the past eleven years. Mostly won it, but this year I feel particularly unprepared. Oh, well. Let’s do it anyway 😉
    I’ll be doing the same on my blog, chack in once a week. Let’s see how it goes.
    Good luck!

  • aj vosse says:

    Have fun!! I’m sure you’ll hit every milestone!! And… maybe, just maybe… it’s fun making (and frying) sausage!! 😉

  • cleemckenzie says:

    I’m sending you some dark coffee. The chocolate is long gone at my house. It just seems to keep disappearing. Good luck with your NaNo!

  • This will be my third year of NaNo. Again, I have the rough outline of a story (this one will be an expansion of a flash fiction I wrote last year, and a sequel to my NaNo effort from the year before). No plans, no outline, no Snowflake (I tried, but got nowhere). Just two motivations:
    1. I’ve announced it to a lot of people, and
    2. I’ve ordered the winner’s tee shirt.
    Then, in the words taken from Roger Miller’s excellent ‘You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd’ –
    All ya gotta do is put your mind to itKnuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it
    Oh, and I’ve made you a buddy.

  • I was thinking of doing a NaNoWriMo 50,000 words to prepare for AtoZ. But, I never got organized enough.

    Next year…

  • I’ve commented before that attempting to write to a count shuts me down completely – which many might consider a good thing, actually, since I tend to be on the wordy side already (and I rarely outline first either, except when I’m documenting curricula). I’m more of a “vomit on the page and move with abandon in the edit” type of gal.

    BUT, like you, I cheer for the folks who have all kinds of ways of motivating their writing fingers, and will be watching from the sidelines during your NaNo endeavor. I doubt, however, I’ll ever join in. Not really my kind of fun.

    May the force be with you!
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  • matosm32 says:

    I am planning on participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. I am glad I stumbled upon your post and will definitely be interested in how it’s going for you while we’re both deep in the writing trenches beginning tomorrow.
    Best of luck to you!

  • Best of luck! I’ve tried it before, but the pressure sunk me. Now, I do a modified NaNo. My goal is to increase my word count and write daily, even if it short, but to get it in there.

  • Laura Beth says:

    I’m back to NaNoWriMo this year after a year off. My wedding was last November, and I couldn’t imagine being able to do NaNo during my wedding, honeymoon, and Thanksgiving! I missed it, though. I’m happy to be back for Year #4!

  • mwlange says:

    Hey there! I’m doing NaNoWriMo for my third year (first under my actual name). I’ve got you added as a writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo site. You can add me back if you want. My name there is MWLange.

    It looks like you’ve got some good prep for the project. I go through a similar process of loosely outlining the story before going through November’s writing process. Best of luck to you over the next month! You can do it!

  • ccyager says:

    Survival tools for writing: favorite tea, large teapot, scones or muffins fresh everyday, favorite music for breaks, turned off phone or turned off ringtone, and knowing that there will be breaks for walking, eating, sleeping. Keep us posted! I’m working on 2 short stories just to get something out there. Good luck! Cinda

  • Looking forward to the first post!

  • annologist says:

    I’m with you all the way ?

  • Almost Iowa says:

    Not that I enjoy quoting monsters, but Stalin had a great line that speaks directly to word count: “Quantity has a quality all its own.”

  • Virtual hugs, Damyanti. Enjoy it. 😀

  • Deanne says:

    Good luck! I am encouraged by your passion for writing!

  • I can’t imagine doing it without an outline.
    Go for it, Damy. I wrote my second and third books during NaNo events. A good story can come of it.

  • Meg Sorick says:

    Ah! I’m doing it for the first time this year, too. I’ve been loathe to commit to that deadline for three years running, but this time I have a need! I am using this month to kick start a novel project I’ve been neglecting. Thus writing with a purpose, just to spit the story out is my objective. I’m writing as Meg Sorick if you want to ‘buddy’ up. Good luck!

  • Like! Good luck with this. I will cheer you on in any way I can!

  • cathum says:

    Well done, I’m sure a plan is a good first step, whether you stick with it or not. Good luck, if this happened a little earlier in the year I’d be plunging in alongside you. I’d say you’ll deserve a big glass of bubbly at the very least.

  • hilarymb says:

    Good Luck Damyanti – sounds good you’ve planned … which should (?!) make NaNo easier … enjoy it – and all will be well … cheers Hilary

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