A NaNoWriMo Confession

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

I’m not participating in NaNo this year. Well, not writing a story for NaNo. I like looking through the forums and putting in my two-cents. But I’m not writing a novel.

My muse is on vacation, and I am soaking in all that Edinburgh has to offer. Coursework, swing dancing, hwal moo hapkido, just sightseeing in general. I’m enjoying my experiences, tucking them away, to be explored at a later date.

I’m being absorbed by my world. With hope, the City of Literature will rub off on me. But I don’t foresee it rubbing off in time for NaNo. And where writing fiction and I are spending some time apart, I don’t think it would be wise to attempt NaNo. It just wouldn’t be fun. There is no point in forcing something creative–it just will not work.

10 thoughts on “A NaNoWriMo Confession

  1. Would you recommend it though? I’m considering doing it this year, especially after helping edit a few post-NaNoWriMo last year and having just attended the Boston Book Festival with all the advice to authors and non-authors alike.

    Hope you’re enjoying Edinburgh – do you have any plans to travel south? (Also, get involved in the student union. They are fascinating and some of my best friends from my time in Leeds are in the National Offices of the student movement now. Plus they love an international perspective!


    1. I had a really good time the first year I did NaNo. Each year since, I’ve attempted, and haven’t managed to get motivated enough to actually write it. The story I wrote really wasn’t very good. It has its pluses and minuses–it motivates you to write, just to write, with great camaraderie among fellow participants, but the output, at least in my case, wasn’t palatable enough to work with for future drafts. I recommend trying it, to see if its a writing style that works for you.

      Ah! I actually just missed the elections for our student union and representatives. Totally was not on top of things.

      I absolutely love Edinburgh. Taking advantage of everything the city has to offer (and actually went to a book festival this weekend, I’ll write more about it in a later post).

      I’m definitely planning on traveling south–going to make a trip to London some time this term, and hopefully visit York (and Leeds, is it a good city to visit?). Some coursemates and I are planning a trip to Portmeirion, Wales, as well.


      1. Edinburgh is great! I loved walking up to Arthur’s Seat and and watching the city. (I’m sure you’ve been, but if not – swing by and snap a picture of where Rowling started HP :-D)

        York is definitely worth it – there’s a tea shop I’ll have to see if I can find the name of that you should visit, and make sure you see the market and walk the outer edge (go close to Christmas as that’s when it’s most beautiful and you might catch the choir practicing in the cathedral.)

        Leeds is a unique city and I loved it, it’s definitely worth it for a great night out! If you go to Leeds, the University and surrounding area are probably the biggest highlight that I can remember (and some of the best shopping between London and Edinburgh).

        I’m jealous of Wales – didn’t get to visit, but will be going back at some point for the Hay-on-Wye book festival at some point in the future.


  2. I haven’t been up Arthur’s Seat since I arrived, but I made the trek in 2010. Great fun, am looking forward to going up again this spring (getting a bit cold for it now), though yesterday would have been a great day for it. I’ll be sure to pack a picnic lunch. 🙂

    I was stranded in the rain outside of the Elephant Walk. I was going on a coffee crawl, and there wasn’t enough space for us all inside

    I’m planning on going to Hay-on-Wye next year! I’ll be in the middle of my dissertation, so it’ll be a much needed break.

    Alright! York and Leeds are on the list. 🙂


  3. I’m jumping back into the shark infested waters. If you need the push then NaNo is for you, but if Real Life ™ gets in the way then so be it. Are you planning on spending the Winter in Scotland?


    1. Haha, yes, Real Life ™ is getting in the way. I have two animations due in November; if the past week was any indication, I’m never leaving the lab.

      Yep, going back to the States for a couple of weeks around Christmas, but returning til at least September 2012 in late December. With hope, I’ll be living here after graduation. 🙂


  4. @Ralfast:

    I’m lucky–many of my friends are staying for the holidays or returning around the same time as I am. I’m hoping to do a little travel.


  5. I’ve said before (perhaps even here) that I think NaNoWriMo is more stunt writing than actual serious writing. I suppose it works for some people, helping them move forward and all, but a serious writer, I suspect, is busy dealing with thwarted motivation all day long and doesn’t need such a gimmick to get moving.

    Pardon my cynicism. Good luck to all of your making the effort!


    1. A healthy dose of cynicism is a good thing to have. 🙂

      I can see both the benefits and drawbacks of NaNo–creating a routine for writing (provided that the writer sticks to it, but really, 2000 words a day isn’t very much), and the community there being benefits, and the more stunty aspects (and rules!) being drawbacks. I rather hate that there are rules about the whole thing. So I ignore them. I also take issue with the idea that its writing for quantity, not quality.


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