To NaNo Or Not To Nano – That is the Question…

My goodness, it’s already the second week in October and time for the final ROW80 round of the year.  That came about quickly.

There are now 79 days until Christmas, 85 days until the last day of the year, and 34 days until my 9,000 word parliamentary research project is due.  Oh yeah, and 25 days until NaNoWriMo begins.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – shit.

October is traditionally the month the plotters start plotting, the pantsers start arguing that plotting ruins everything (note, it doesn’t), the uncommitted um and ah about participating, and the rest of the world sits there thinking ‘what on earth is NaNoWriMo and why are so many people getting all thingy about it??’.

This time last year, I was half way through writing my first (re)draft of Rebellion. I thrived during NaNo, I managed to write 100,000 words in 25 days, finish the first draft of Corruption (the book that follows Rebellion), and get myself enthused about writing once again after a long period of feeling thoroughly dejected and mopey about writing.

This year, I am one of the uncommitted.

Until a few weeks ago I was super keen for NaNo. I didn’t know what I was going to write (I might have even been one of the famed ‘rebels’ who don’t actually follow the 50k in 30 days brief), and I was pretty sure I would NOT be participating in community events (series of nasty experiences with the Adelaide NaNo community kind of put me off that), but I was sure I’d be doing it.

Now, things have changed.

Here’s the deal: I really want to get Rebellion to the point where I’m happy to share it with beta readers and take another step towards actually having a published book. Desperately.  I’ve even been rewriting this afternoon until I took a break for dinner and blog-post-making.  I’m feeling optimistic about what I can achieve by the end of this round. I’ve even made a damn schedule (those who were up to date with last week’s productivity will be pleased to know it is somewhat continuing into this week – I felt really unwell today and it’s a public holiday so I wasn’t SUPER productive, but I’m making up for that this evening).

And I’m just not sure I can edit Rebellion and do NaNo at the same time.

I know that heaps of people in ROW80 simultaneously work on new projects and edit old ones very successfully, but I’m just not sure I can do it.  I obviously want to focus on Rebellion to make sure it’s not terrible when I tentatively put out the call for beta readers.  Then again, I have all these new ideas buzzing around in my head thanks to some pre-editing planning/world building (prequels to Rebellion anyone?).  I can type pretty quickly as well, so the 1667 per day NaNo target doesn’t actually take me too long (an hour and a half max if I’m in the swing of things). Perhaps it would be fun to do both, with my NaNo novel a little project on the side I can come back to once Rebellion is all pretty and polished and being beta-read (then again, I also have Corruption to edit and the third book to write/plan/work out).  If my schedule goes according to plan I should have a fair few hours a day to dedicate to writing, so in theory I could do both…

Hmm, it seems I’ll need to think about this some more.  Any suggestions are welcome!


Well, now that I’ve probably bored you all with my thinking-out-loud ramble, let’s get onto the point of this post – ROW80!

These goals are obviously subject to additions depending on what I decide to do about NaNo, but here we go:


Edit/rewrite Rebellion ready for beta readers.
I’d say this one is pretty self explanatory. I’m still finalising how many chapters (ish) it will have in the end, but I’m basically aiming for a chapter a day when I can, which will have me comfortably finished by the end of the round (including days I can’t write) as there will not be 80 chapters….

Potential NaNo project?
Watch this space. 

Read at least four books a month.
This probably doesn’t sound like much, but I have a lot of other stuff to do so I don’t exactly have copious amounts of reading time.

Write at least three blog posts a week.
Two are pretty set in stone: Sunday ROW check in and Wednesday WIPpet/check in.  I’m also hoping to make Friday posts a regular thing, probably discussing problems I’m having with my writing and things I’m discovering on my journey.  Perhaps I’ll even throw a few book reviews in there. I’m going to see Gone Girl tomorrow night for date night, so perhaps I’ll do a book/movie comparison review thingy at some stage?

Continue to comment on people’s posts and make friends.
I’ve been doing pretty well so far with WIPpets, but I think I need to try harder with ROW80.  I also want to start discovering new awesome blogs, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know!

Non-writing related goals
Finish both uni projects.
So far I have 3,500 out of 9,000 words drafted for my parliamentary research project, with a pretty strict schedule to follow to reach this.  I also have a 2,500 word history essay to write, but that isn’t too much pressure.

Continue current productivity levels.
Despite today’s slight ebb (I’ll still get everything done, just before my 6pm aim), I’m still pretty on track.  This involves waking up at a reasonable time to exercise, working at my desk NOT in bed, completing my uni tasks before lunch, writing after lunch, and NOT getting distracted until after 6pm. I’m actually really enjoying it, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep it going!

Finalise exchange to Edinburgh details.
Again, pretty self explanatory.


So there you have it, they are my goals for this round!

This week, I’m aiming to do the following:

  • Edit up to chapter 6 of Rebellion.  More is fantastic.  Less is unlikely due to aforementioned productivity.
  • Work out what to do about NaNo
  • Finish reading Harry’s Game
  • Write WIPpet blog post and additional blog post for Friday.
  • Comment on 10 blogs
  • Write an additional 2,000 words for my politics draft
  • Research for history essay
  • Have exchange subjects prepared for meeting with course coordinator.

Is that a lot? It looks like a lot? But I am optimistic positive Rachel, so I embrace the challenge happily with confidence and enthusiasm!

See you Wednesday!







22 thoughts on “To NaNo Or Not To Nano – That is the Question…

  1. I like optimistic, positive Rachel – she seems like she gets a lot done 😉 Nice to see you in ROW80. It’s my first time, and I’m a sponsor! I’m glad you’re here, and I look forward to hearing about your progress, what you decide to do about NaNo (I’m not doing it this year – I don’t think!), and generally catching up 🙂

    1. Thank you! I also like optimistic, positive Rachel. She is awesome and productive and just generally fun to be around!

      I’m so happy you’re doing ROW80, it will be great to hear about your goals and get to know each other more! In fact, once I finish editing this section I’m going to read your post! (See, that’s super productive Rachel, normal Rachel would just read the post!) 🙂

  2. I am doing NaNo, because, despite having 8 WIPs already in the pipeline and Trip and T’Pol making constant visits into my head, and a novel I’m drafting and one I’m revising and two FutureLearn classes and other stuff, like a family-

    I WANT to.

    There, I said it.

    I’ve nearly got my scenes summarized – next up, I’ll name them (naming scenes helps me a LOT), and write the goal/motivation/conflict for each. From there, the plotting gets easier, and, the way it looks, I’ll be done before the end of the month, and be ready to go (with time to wrap up a couple of the other projects, so things aren’t so congested next month).

    Last year, I wrote a 122K complete draft in a month, and, because it’s the first one I truly plotted, it’s vastly better than the other rough drafts in my queue.It’s going to be a pleasure to revise!

    I can’t tell you what you should do, but I’ll be reducing my targets for the other drafting and revising, so I can focus on creating another complete draft (I didn’t realize I was writing a series for a looong time, and so things are out of order. I can’t publish until I get them unscrambled).

    Whatever you decide, I like your attitude, and look forward to seeing how things shape up for you! =D

    1. I think I’m going to see how productive I’ve been and if I can reduce my goals in order to complete NaNo, and if I think I can I’ll go for it! I always love reading your comments, they’re so informative and insightful! 🙂

      1. Thank you, Rachel! I like helping, so it’s always nice to now I have. A cool hing about the Internet is being able to do it, with just words,from thousands of miles away! =D

        My thoughts on NaNo are that, if you’re wanting to do it, any words you write will be to the good, even if you know going in that 50K can’t happen. But there are also times when it just won’t work. I did the 2009 version, then skipped 2010, because I had nothing close to ready, idea-wise, and the kids needed me more that year. In 2011, I had nothing, either, but I went for it – and wrote 38K of mostly autobiographical musings about my childhood before I found the story – which, eventually became Chameleon’s Dish. I did better in 2012, and, last year, I plotted my novel, and managed a complete, 127K word draft, which is tighter than any other rough draft I’ve ever written.

        I’m about halfway through the goals/motivations/conflicts/disasters for this year’s NaNo, and, as the story comes together, I’m really starting to get excited!

        Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have joy in it!

      2. I have decided to do NaNo this year, but as something for me to enjoy and explore a story rather than as a way to seriously get a draft down (which is what I did last year). I think I’ll really enjoy doing this, which is exactly what I want! 😀

      3. That sounds perfect. I hope you’re feeling better by the time you read this!

        I’ll be right there enjoying NaNo with you. I do hope to get a serious draft (a Spock story, but there may or may not be TnT involvement), but I’m doing it for the pleasure even more than the draft!

  3. I’m trying not to even think of NaNo, and possibly tempt myself away from the stuff I already need to do. Good luck with your decision and I look forward to reading your updates. 🙂

  4. same problem:( I have done nano now for 4 years and have always loved it and want to carry on doing it but. . .but. . . after a dreadful year of writing I really want to get main WIP further forward – torn – so torn – all the best:)

  5. If I had an idea for NaNo, I might, but I don’t. Besides, if I have a story in me, it’s not NaNo length. I got a week into it last year, and decided NaNoNoMo.

    It sounds like your time is limited, between school and the projects you’re alteady working on. But, if you have a story to tell next month, go for it. You’ll find the time.

    1. NaNo definitely isn’t for everyone!

      I think I will do some tentative plotting and see how I go. Thankfully my uni commitments are over by November 10, which would leave me with 20 full days, and if I’ve gotten into my writing habit by then I’ll be writing at night anyway. More thinking may be required!

    1. Ooh being a rebel is tempting! Very tempting!

      No need to forgive, I do talk a lot about Rebellion without actually explaining what it’s about! I might write a post on Friday explaining it properly, but I’ll give you a sneak peak! Rebellion is basically about the conflict between Lord Rolando and the rebellion, who are a group aiming to overthrow him and restore themselves to power. 🙂

      1. It comes as a shock to many, you’re not alone. 😛

        I’ll hopefully write up a bit of a blurb/plot summary thing in a post on Friday that might give you more information!

  6. I can’t do NaNo. It would be setting myself up for failure. Not enough hours in the day, then there would be all the self-imposed pressure and the hours banging my head against the wall and my husband wondering if he was a widower…oh, wait, I do all that already. What was I getting at? 😉

    1. Hahaha! I think it’s so interesting how different people respond to NaNo. For the competitor in me, knowing there’s a deadline with other people pushes me to meet it, whilst my perfectionist side doesn’t want to be a failure! So it works for me, but I know so many other people who just hate it!

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