Sunday, October 10, 2010

I joined NaNo.

Oooooh boy.

Yesterday I went in search of my exam schedule and found that I am writing two subjects in October, and two in November. And those two are on the tenth and the thirteenth. Which means that I theoretically have time for NaNo.

So... I went to the sight and signed up. Since then, I have debated my own sanity. See. I seriously might have a big screw loose. One of the great weaknesses of who I am is the following: if I'm not pressured, I don't perform. Which means that at least on some level, part of me is always trying to balance on the edge of a knife with her eyes closed.

It's rather strange really. I know that I am greatly increasing the odds of things going badly, but I always feel pulled to living on that edge.

But, over the years, I have learnt tricks that make dealing with pressure a little better. Such as cataloging what needs to be done and doing things in order of urgency and importance.

Which is why I thought NaNo might not be a bad idea. My writing usually fails me when I don't have classes and tests to worry about and I thought that NaNo might just be the kick I need to get into the habit. After all. I want to finish my first draft of Doorways in December. It's in a genre in which 100k words are the norm. If I can get into the habit of writing a few thousand words every day, I will be able to finish it. (I decided to pick up the story from where I stopped and finish as many words of Doorways as possible.)

BUT. I have a much bigger priority to finish my degree this year. Financially and emotionally, I can't afford another year of doing something that kills my soul little bits at a time. So. I WILL pass all of my subjects. I WILL get my degree. Anything that gets in the way of this will be sidelined until I'm finished.

This includes NaNo. I really want to reach 50k, but I am not betting my degree on it. So I will start on November 1. I will write whatever bits I can whenever I can between studying. I will devote the first Saturday to writing as much as I can. Hopefully I'll hit enough words to stay on track. The Saturday after that, I will be writing my last exam. I'll rest on Sunday, and start NaNo'ing in earnest on the fifteenth.

This is where my performance capacity comes in. I'll have to catch up big time if I want to win. I need to at least write about 3300 words per day. I say at least, because I'm actually aiming for 4k. Insane? Maybe. This is by far not even close to the limit of what I can write on a given day. But every day for two weeks?

Watch this space and find out...

Who else is NaNo'ing this year? Any alternative strategies for me to follow? Anyone else think I'm certifiable? I'd love to hear from you.


  1. The word count is possible - last week, Steve Feasey posted that he wrote 10,000 words in a morning. He, you and I know that there must be a shed load of editing to do later but your target is do-able. Good luck with the crucial studies and exams. Have a great NaNo :)

  2. 10k in a morning? Oh my word!

    Haha there is a lot of editing to be done. Actually, after my first draft, I have to rewrite the entire book so that I can add in descriptions, change story-lines that don't work etc. But I want this draft done.

    Thanks for commenting :-)

  3. I think you can buy degrees from a few dodgy sites, Misha. Then you’d have more time to do what you want. Just a thought :)
    The enigmatic, masked blogger strikes again

  4. Lol dodgy sites? A few years ago, people at one of our less awesome universities (as supposed to Stellenbosch) had to do a major staff clean up after one of their offices sold REAL degrees to people that never studied or failed their coarse.

    In South Africa you can get anything if you know where to look for it. It's a veritable shopper's paradise. ;-P

  5. Yay for Nano! I don't think you're crazy. Do what you can ;)

    If things get really bad I'm probably using write or die to help. I can easily churn out 1000 words of BLUERGH in an hour using that.

  6. I'm jumping into Nano this year, too. I'm a little nervous, but, like you, I'm likely to get more done under pressure. Feel free to buddy me. My i.d. is J. Leigh Bailey


  7. I'm thinking about NaNo right now. I haven't been able to just jump yet but I think I really need it to get going with my new novel.
    Good Luck to you!

  8. Good luck with Nano and the degree! (What's it in by the way)? And thank you for checking out my blog!

  9. Wow, 10K in a morning. I'd be happy with that a week. Well, I'm doing NaNo, you can find me if you search for Clarissa Draper.


  10. 10k in one morning?! Whoa! I sometimes struggle for 1k in a few days . . .

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo! And I hope you get your degree! (I'm curious too--what's it in?)

  11. Hi Misha,
    Don't worry, we all procrastinate, especially when it's something we're forced to do. When I was in university, I left everything for the last minute. I wanted to enjoy reading fiction and not theory books :(
    I guess setting yourself a feasible goal can help you finish your MS. Good luck with your studies.

  12. That sounds like a plan, Mia.

    J. Leigh, thanks so much, I'll add you now. :-)

    Colene, I'd say make the jump. Life's too short to wonder about doing something that you think is a good idea. (But this might be the miserable part of me that loves company talking :-)) If you do decide to sign up, let me know.

    Beth, always a pleasure.

    Because you and Golden wanted to know: I study a Bachelors in Commerce, majoring in Investment Management and Economics.

    Thanks CD, I'll look you up.

    Claudia that is a large part of my issues too. I'd much rather find something entertaining to do, than study.

    Thank you all for commenting and your good wishes.

    Love, Misha

  13. I joined, second year for me ;o) Good luck to you on NaNo and your degree!

    I'm EricanWrite on there ;o)

  14. Best of luck with NaNo, Misha. You can do it even with your uni - I've written 20,000 words across a 3 day weekend once and ended up with a workable story (after lots of revision, of course).

    I'm struggling with indecision this year - I signed up for NaNo and I really want to do it, but...I want to submit my current manuscript more. So I'm trying really hard to resist the siren call of NaNo and stay strong. Will let you know how that pans out... :)

  15. I'm NaNoing, and MLing - because I'm crazy like that - AND I've made a NaNo blogchain for those of us who will be blogging our experience. If you think you might be interested you can head over to and sign up :) We've already been handing out tips and tricks and inspiration for November :)

    And hey, school always comes first. NaNo understands that ;)

  16. Go NaNo!!!! What is your username? Mine is Jen_Unedited if you'd like to follow and friend me!!!

    I wish you the best of luck in both journeys, writing 50K in 30 days is definitely doable, the last novel I wrote was 60K and it was written in 14 days.

  17. You just want the monkey badge. Admit it.


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