Monday, November 2, 2009


Since practivally everyone I know is blogging about why they signed up for the NaNoWriMo, I feel I need to write about why I did not.

Can't say I was not tempted because I was, and sorely so. I've been writing for almost half a decade, but have always shyed away from attempting anything longer than a short story. The last two years have been devoted almost exclusively to that most wonderful invention of all - the Drabble- a story told in exactly 100 words. I thought I was content, but....

.... no matter what one says, there is that extra something about attempting and completing a novel. Even if nobody except my closest friends (writing buddies all of them) reads it, even if nobody comments on it (good or bad), I would still like to write a full-length novel someday (I would also like to run a marathon, spend a month bumming around Europe, and trek to the Mansarovar Lake - but I digress).

And if signing up for NaNoWriMo hadn't catalysed my novel, it is unlikely anything else would have. I had a plot loosely defined, three of my four characters were almsot completely fleshed out, there was really nothing coming between me adn my novel, except myself.

Then why not NaNoWriMo?

Because November shows every sign of being one of the most stressful months in my calendar. The non-profit I work for has committed funds that would run out in February. We need to raise money, and raise money fast. At least three grant proposals are due this month - if even two of them come good, we'd be safe for another year. If all of them come through, we can impact the lives of 200,000 children from marginalise backgrounds next year. I know I would be writing much more than just 50,000 words this month- not sure if I can double that load and still survive.

Plus I need to get my not yet four year old to learn his lines for a school play, and plan the birthday party for my soon to be six year old. If I forfit sleep completely, I may just be able to write 1,667 words a day. But I am not sure if I would be able to sustain that for a month.

So, no NaNoWriMo for me. At least not in November 2009. Maybe I could cheat and do it in December?


ladyfi said...

Sounds like a wise decision!

I really do hope you get those grants!

dipali said...

Makes sense!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Too much going on! It's not like we need any MORE stress, right? I'm with you.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Chary Johnson said...

I can completely empathize with you Rayna. Too much to take on in too little time. It's why I didn't do NaNoWriMo.

Good luck with the grants, I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Watery Tart said...

I agree that your November work load is too much, but I want to go on record as officially encouraging you to do it in December (or January)--I think cranking a novel out will be good for how you think of yourself as a writer. I LOVE your short stories, but I think you've got a really great book in there too. (I think Stacy, though she signed up, is waiting, so maybe we can put together a little support team for month late NaNo. MoLaNaNo... lets work with it!)

Galen Kindley--Author said...

As I’ve commented elsewhere, I don’t get the NaNo thing. Never have. Just flat don’t get it. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Not to be a curmudgeon, but, it seems like a big commitment when almost everything else in anyone’s life is more compelling and necessary. So, needless to say, I’m thinking you’re in exactly the right space on this choice.

Best Regards, Galen.
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Best of luck with the grants; I've written a number of grant applications in my time and I know how time consuming they can be! I'm not on the NaNo train. I put enough pressure on myself, I don't need a website adding to the load!


Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Tami - I may be more receptive to the idea another month. Frankly, the thought of even attempting something larger than short stories overwhelms me, and writing without thinking too much may just be what I need to shake off the complacency. Let's see.

Fiona, Elizabeth, dipali, Elspeth - yes, we can all do with a little less stress, when we are in any case overloading ourselves with things to do.

@ Galan - I do agree - am not sure if going flat out for a month when we have a life to lead really makes much sense. But I do need a well placed kick in my posterior to get myself started, and this may just have been that.

ritu said...

yeh dil maange more- want the longer version!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Ritu, someday, I promise, yeah dil ko milega more. I'll send you the first draft whenever I finish it. But only if you promise to read all of it and tell me it is utter crap if that is what it is.


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