NaNoWriMo and the plotless novel…

I went into Nano completely blind. It was my first, and it followed an intense period of aggressive writer’s block, a.k.a., the “I-would-rather-scrub-the-bathroom-floor-than-write” period. And no, I didn’t even scrub the bathroom floor. But anyway, I didn’t do the October tradition of plotting the novel, nor did I do anything but preliminary research. I just had an idea and ran with it. Well…

After the initial ten days or so I realized I had no plot. I still kind of don’t. And I realized that I wasn’t nervous about it, which comes back to my mindset entering NaNoWriMo. I wanted to give myself the freedom to lose Nano. I didn’t want to put pressure on myself to finish 50,000 words by the end of the month and risk burning myself out and not writing again for months. Slow and steady was my motto, and it’s not sucking so far 🙂

I’ve had the time to let the story evolve, and it’s still evolving, still slowly. I’m doing research as I go, which isn’t great for the continuity of the novel but it’s allowed me to grow as a writer. It’s let me find out what my limitations are, how I learn, how I get inspired. It’s also challenged my determination and discipline. I’m still so wrapped up in this story, and Nano or no Nano, I’m so excited to find out where it will take me.

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  • Writing is a journey of discovery, not just about the plot but about yourself. I’ve never taken NaNo on because of that same fear of the pressure burning me out, but it sounds like it’s been a success for you whether you hit 50k or not. 🙂