Ghosts of NaNoWriMo Past

I got curious last night, which is always a bad thing I’ve found, and pulled out my NaNoWriMo story from last year. Iwrote 14,000 words last year, in a baby-induced, drowsy fog with absolutely not planning except for a one sentence story idea. I also wrote the entire thing by hand in a Moleskine notebook. The crazy thing is I had no idea what I wrote last year.

I opened it, read the first sentence and recalled vaguely my story idea. Still, the whole thing is hazy. I guess a year of not sleeping through the night will do that to a person. I don’t think I’ll ever revisit this story. Maybe I’ll give it to someone else to read to see if anything is there. For some reason, I feel anxiety just from thinking about it.

This year I hope things will be different. I plan on writing this year on my laptop. This should help tremendously with editing. I love the romance of writing in a notebook by hand, but I just don’t have the time to write something by hand and then type it.

Also, I’ve done some planning ahead of NaNoWriMo. This should allow me to at least start with a coherent story. Where it ends up, I don’t know.


On an unrelated note, my wife, daughter, and I went to the library for the second time this week. When I first moved to this area I didn’t think the library was that great, but the more I go there the more I like it. There’s even a kids area where my daughter likes to play and especially likes to hold this huge “Cat in the Hat”. We picked up a book and cd pack by author Sandra Boynton for my daughter and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman for me/my daughter.

8 thoughts on “Ghosts of NaNoWriMo Past

  1. Following a link from Gailman’s blog, I got the chance to hear a part of the The Day I Swapped My Dad… I liked it. It flows easily, and is read by Neil himself.

  2. I just don’t find writing by hand practical enough anymore. But I do still wish I could. I cringe when I see people writing poetry on computers. *shudder* That’s one of those things I still stick to writing by hand, probably just because they’re usually shorter and easily typed if necessary.

    I did the 50,000 NaNo words last year, and I rewrote every single one of them. Still rewriting that darn book. BUT I never would have gotten this far if I hadn’t done NaNo, so it was still definitely worth it. Maybe later you can take that idea and plot it out (ya know, the maps and outline stuff) and see if you can find a new take on it that sparks your interest.

  3. I just can’t write by hand, I don’t know why. I think I get impatient, especially as I type pretty darn fast. NaNo last year was Teh Suck for me. For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to do a semi-autobiographical story … but this was only 6 months after my mom died. I got about 10K words in and gave up completely; it just wasn’t the right time. I haven’t opened that file since.

    In happy news, I just got my 2007 NaNo t-shirt. Woo!

  4. SzélsőFa – Excellent. I’ll have to read that tonight. Also it came with the audio cd from the library so I’ll have to burn that.

    Michelle – I know what you mean. I think I’m sticking with writing via laptop. As far as last years idea? I think it’s dead.

    Julie K. Rose – any pics of the t-shirt? Also, I could imaging it would be hard writing that soon after the loss of a really close loved one. Someone coughs the wrong way and that throws off my writing mojo for a week.

  5. I started to re-read a diary I kept for best part of a year after a traumatic time in my life and just couldn’t continue. It was too raw and I felt so disconnected from it 5 years down the road I was almost embarrassed by it!Strange as it meant a lot to me at the time.

  6. Novel length is easier on a computer but I do find if I get stuck or blocked that switching to a notepad or vice versa it can help me get going again. Also I find just jotting out the key scenes on post cards and having them on the wall during the first draft helps – just don’t be wedded to it – sometimes the best stuff is where you go wandering off.

    Good luck – I’m bricking it:)

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