NaNoWriMo Update

29 Nov

nanowrimo (Photo credit: evilnick)

You may have noticed, after my first burst of enthusiasm, that I went quiet on the subject of NaNoWriMo.  Then again, you may actually have a life.

I signed up for NaNo to settle an argument: the Hub reckons I have a novel in me; I don’t believe I do.  I was prepared to fight fair and give it a real go.  Either way, I’d win: either I had a novel in me, in which case, hooray!  I’d have written a novel; or I wouldn’t, in which case, hooray!  I won an argument.

I won the argument but I couldn’t gloat because the Hub looked so sad.  He’s such a spoil sport.

The bit I have written isn’t very good.  That’s no false modesty: I’ve read enough tripe to know when I’m writing it.  I am a Twihard, after all.

I had intended to have a heroine only – Daisy, deserted by her husband, jobless and searching – but a hero appeared on the scene, name of Jack (a manly name; I made a point of saying so).

Jack was an accidental hero and it was incidental that he happened to be a traffic warden.  While I was still in the throes of writing passion in early November, I envisioned Jack and Daisy in their follow-up novel: Daisy works alongside Jack (it’s the kind of job you’d have to be desperate to take, which she is); they become sleuthing traffic wardens.  I doubt such a pair exist in literature – most writers want readers to like their characters.

I got to about Day 14.  I had about 12,000 words.  I took a couple of days off to do stuff that needed doing…and I never went back.  Every time I thought about sitting down to it, I found something else to do.

For a time the guilt hung over me: I signed up for NaNo; I should see it through; it doesn’t have to be great – it just has to be done.

Then I decided to say, ‘Stuff it!  I don’t want to do it.’ And I stopped feeling guilty.

Writing has always been a joy for me, even essays.  This was the most un-fun I’ve ever had when writing.  I’m not sorry I stopped.  

But I do like the idea of sleuthing traffic wardens.  Maybe I’ll sign up for NaNoWriMo next year and finish the novel.  The Hub is always saying I have a book in me.  It’s about time he won an argument.

48 Responses to “NaNoWriMo Update”

  1. benzeknees November 29, 2012 at 10:20 #

    Glad to hear you won the argument, but not happy to hear you didn’t finish NaNoWriMo. I couldn’t even attempt it so I didn’t sign up, but I hope to have enough research under my belt to do it next year.


  2. thehutts November 29, 2012 at 10:26 #

    If you want a non technical proof reader I would be more than happy to help. Might make me try out the Kindle that Duncan won in a raffle.


  3. jmgoyder November 29, 2012 at 11:09 #

    At least you gave it longer than 3 days! 12,000 is great – don’t you dare get rid of it; it sounds very Tilly!


  4. judithatwood November 29, 2012 at 11:25 #

    Tilly B., I love your outlook on life — if something isn’t making you happy, stop it and do something else. Even if you never wrote another post, you could be proud of the difference you made with your blog. I can attest to that. You are one of my longest readers, and you have been completely faithful. Thanks so much for that.

    I like the idea of sleuthing traffic wardens! Maybe, in the next 11 months, you can mess around with ideas and keep a separate novel journal to hold them. Then, when it’s time to write, you will have a collection of ways to go.

    Good for you!


  5. Pseu November 29, 2012 at 11:59 #

    These sleuthing traffic wardens…. what crime are they going to solve? Intriguing

    when stuck jump ahead to the bit that interests you: go straight in with the ‘later story’ – you can go back and fill in later 🙂
    Write it as a short story… you don’t need to tell all the background, just the bit that grabs you.

    (Maybe your 12000 words are just a ‘way in’ so that you can move on to the juicy bits?)


  6. sharechair November 29, 2012 at 14:55 #

    You gotta be true to yourself!


  7. gigihawaii November 29, 2012 at 15:03 #

    I know what you mean. I tried to fictionalize a love affair I had when still single, and it was tripe. Ugh! I now believe I should stick with the genre I feel most comfortable with — memoirs.


  8. laurieanichols November 29, 2012 at 15:29 #

    I agree with everyone else here, you have the best outlook. You have the start of something under your belt, what more can you want, you’re free to go back or not. Who knows maybe Daisy and Jack will be the Nick and Nora of traffic wardens, all they need is a smart cute dog.:) Give the Hub a back rub and you’ll turn his frown upside down.


  9. slpmartin November 29, 2012 at 16:48 #

    Always admire those folks who take on the challenge of a novel…even if they don’t finish it on the first try…let the Hub win next time.


  10. terry1954 November 29, 2012 at 17:36 #

    i started writing for it, but only got a couple of chapters done. maybe i will save it for a book later on. i just had too much going on with the placement of Al, to get it done on time


    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife November 30, 2012 at 11:11 #

      That’s true. Maybe you should take the time you have now and work on it.


      • terry1954 November 30, 2012 at 14:53 #

        I m editing my first book with someone, and have already started my second book. I may pick it up after the holidays, the nano book


  11. siggiofmaine November 29, 2012 at 17:49 #

    Five stars for hubby… let him gloat….and remember the date to toss out whenever needed.

    Someone earlier suggested keeping an idea journal for next year…I like that idea even if it doesn’t go anywhere…good ideas are fodder for something ! And I like the short story idea someone mentioned.

    Before I read the journal idea, which I do adore, my idea was to keep what you have written and start on day 15 next NaNoWriMo….

    Or keep it for some later generation to read with the words “to be continued” at the end of it, and they can be looking forever for the rest of what doesn’t exist !

    YOU get five stars for attempting the impossible and showing it does exist !… and for giving hubby a chance to win once. That is true love in my book.


  12. bevchen November 29, 2012 at 21:02 #

    At least you tried! Maybe your book is waiting to come when you least expected, not when you’re forcing yourself to write because it’s the month for it.


  13. Tom (Aquatom1968) November 29, 2012 at 21:27 #

    Tilly, I like the idea of a couple of sleuthing traffic wardens… maybe you could write an occasional tale on your blog for starters, and then let it grow into a book, then a TV series, and then a major motion picture blockbuster. The blog first though. I’m seeing a kind of motorists’ Hart to Hart (Cart to Cart maybe? Sorry, I’m rubbish at titles). Hope I’ve encouraged you to keep the idea going!


  14. kateshrewsday November 29, 2012 at 23:10 #

    As you say: when the writing stops being fun, its time to stop writing. There are many reasons to write: and a book is only one of them.


  15. robincoyle November 29, 2012 at 23:57 #

    You were a brave girl for giving it a go. I suggest letting it sit and looking at it again with a fresh eye. I think you are on to something special.


  16. restlessjo November 30, 2012 at 00:22 #

    I’ve never subscribed to the nano whatever as a means to a novel, Tilly, so you’re just confirming what I suspected. Writing because you HAVE to sucks. (unless you need to do it for a living)


  17. Grannymar November 30, 2012 at 18:26 #

    ‘Poetry and life writing’

    A novel about sleuthing traffic wardens, told in poetry?? When you win the booker or whatever it is called… don’t forget me.


  18. bluebee December 1, 2012 at 04:52 #

    12000 words is a pretty good effort, Tilly. But writing has to be enjoyable otherwise there is no point.


  19. Three Well Beings December 1, 2012 at 08:11 #

    It just may not be the time, and NaNo may just not be the best way for you to go. I’m a fan of taking the exit door when “it” just isn’t coming together, then letting inspiration draw you back in. You are a story teller, to I think your Hub may be right! But on your own timing…


  20. vivinfrance December 4, 2012 at 14:44 #

    Um, now you know how I feel about Annie’s Fortune and a nagging friend. But I’d still like to read what you’ve written.


  21. eof737 December 5, 2012 at 07:46 #

    Not to worry… next year you’d have another chance to have a go at it.



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