Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNo to NaBlo ...

Some of you know I write poetry. This fall, in addition to writing my poetry, I decided to accept the challenge of writing a novel of 50,000 words in one month, specifically, the month of November. There is actually a program called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) open to anyone brave enough to sign up. The only thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces writers to lower their expectations, and write, write, write! I didn't find out about NaNo until the end of October. I thought it would be a good experience and exactly what my undisciplined life needed ... a commitment to write at least 1,667 words a day ... every day, for one month! I started out strong on Day 1, a Sunday, writing over 3,000 words. My book had a title and 3 interesting characters. I decided writing a book in a month would be, um, well, fairly painless if not exactly easy. But then came Day 2. I spent a few (read 8) hours at my daughter's, helping her care for my new little grand-baby. When I got home, I was exhausted. Then I wrote, but my heart wasn't in it. But, hey, I'd written over 3,000 words the day before so I didn't have to worry, right? Well, almost, except that I went back to my daughter's on Tuesday (Day 3) and stayed for about 7 hours. I rocked Baby Nora, and changed her and burped her and washed dishes and folded laundry. Then I went home and collapsed. I was even more tired than I'd been the day before. I wrote about 500 words that night. I was falling behind and it was only Day 3! On Day 4, I went back to help my daughter. She was having a little trouble nursing and I wanted to be there to give her encouragement. And I was crazy about Nora! It was much more fun to cuddle her than it was to write my book. I got caught up with my word count on the weekend, but then it was a brand new week and I was back at my daughter's. She wanted to do errands and I thought it was good for her to get out of the house. I spent more time at Katie's and accomplished almost no writing. I have to admit I was feeling bad about myself. The words "failure" and "loser" kept popping into my head. And now, before God and all of you, I admit it: I'm a "NaNo Dropout!"

But this morning I found my niche. There's an alternative group to NaNoWriMo called NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. The object is to post something on your blog every day for a month. And guess what? I HAVE A BLOG! I've had it since January. I can do this!

NaBlo was originally a November long commitment, just like NaNo. But people had so much fun with it they wanted to keep going past November and into December and beyond. So now NaBloPoMo is something you can drop into any month of the year, though November is still the biggest month. I missed the November 1 start date, due to NaNo. But I'm primed and ready to post something EVERY DAY of December. And I know you're all going to have as much fun reading what I post as I'm going to have posting! 15 days and counting ...

PS - Just wanted to add that I have loved and treasured every minute spent with my daughter and granddaughter. I wouldn't have missed this experience for anything! It's been spectacular to watch my daughter become a wonderful mother, right before my eyes! I'm so proud of her. And there is nothing more satisfying than holding a brand new baby. I am definitely the winner here!


  1. Mom ~ you have many gifts, including being an amazing writer and poet. Thank you for giving Nora and myself the gift of your time. You have helped us transition beautifully into our mother/daughter relationship. Looking forward to seeing you in about 45 minutes:)

  2. I think your title should be: NaNo to NaBlo to NoNo;)

  3. you? a no-no dropout?

    i don't think so.

    more like a no-ra devotee?

    no-no will be back next year,
    no-ra will never be only weeks old again :)