Wednesday, November 1, 2017

IWSG: NO-NO, NA-NO


Hopefully, I’m not the only one old enough to remember Mork and Mindy, the silly ‘80s comedy that launched a moderately successful comedian by the name of Robin Williams (all right, he was and is HUGE!). I’m reminded of him every November when the frantic productivity of NaNoWriMo launches. But this alien-sounding battle cry that rallies a tremendous hoard, drives me away. Competitive sprints and pathological word counts may inspire some to unlock their creativity but the pressured message and rigid structure of it paralyzes me (like being called on in class to give an impromptu speech!). That said, I admire those who successfully apply the technique. Whatever gets words on the page, right? My OCD/ADD brain automatically structures my time like a drill sergeant, but many need and thrive on the camaraderie and accomplishments of the event. For me, it’s more stressful to try to carve out the extra allotments of time than to take advantage of the ones I already have in place.

The one tool I now enjoy using that I never imagined I would is the Write-In (kind of a mini or weekend unstructured NaNo). Our Mid-Michigan RWA chapter sets up meeting time and/or weekend retreats designed for quiet and industrious keyboarding. After finding the right mix of rock music on my headset to drown out the sound of frenzied typing and occasional whispering all around me, I’ve made fantastic use of these events that provide both silent work time AND the opportunity to brainstorm and network. Our chapter also promotes an on-line monthly NaNo group for those who can’t carve out a weekend or don’t have a coffee shop nearby.



Whatever works! Make use of the tools at hand. It’s the end, not the means. Finding the right creative grove is mana from inspiration heaven. If you haven’t tried NaNo, it may be that perfect fit. So NaNo NaNo, y’all!



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the November 1st posting of the IWSG will be Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

12 comments:

  1. The added pressure of something like NaNo paralyzes me too...I have to Just Say No, but kudos to those who make it work for them! I'm big on planning & scheduling, but my creativity depends on feeling all loose & stress-free. Love the idea of your write-in weekends. They sound perfect - a recipe for success! Nice picture, Nancy! :)

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    1. Hey, I was outlining PRINCE OF DREAMS, hence the smile!

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  2. "Make use of the tools at hand..." Yes! I'd love to try a write-in, and maybe now that my nest is empty (sent the 2nd and last to college this fall) I can do something like that. I enjoy the external deadlines NaNo provides, because I can be lazy :D But it doesn't always fit where I am.

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    1. Exactly! If it fits, and is comfortable, wear it!!

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  3. I can't do NaNoWriMo either. First, I am WAAAYYYYY too busy in November, between grading papers, playing concerts, and getting ready for Christmas. Second, I can write over 1K per day, but not for 30 days in a row. So it wouldn't work. But hooray for those who can! The writing weekends and weekly sprints, plus our MiWriMo challenges are great for me.

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    1. I'm with you. Holiday season, I always have a book launch in October . . . no time to fit discipline in with exhaustion.

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  4. Nope to na no for me too. I never seem to be at a starting a new manuscript place each year when November rolls around. Too much other stuff going on, writing and otherwise, in my life. Though I do admire those who do.

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    1. Knowing and accepting what works for you works for me!

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  5. Oh yeah. My creator agrees with ya, kiddo. NaNo dampens her mood too. If "forced" to write, she's a bear to live with (one with sharp claws, and huge big tusks). *shudder* Nope. NaNo works for some, though, so if it helps, maybe they mellow out into cuddly cubs.

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  6. Love the headphones! I do think NaNo would work if it occurred simultaneously to some story just bubbling up and begging to be released. For me, the only pressing urges in November are cravings for turkey and stuffing.

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  7. I loved the Mork and Mindy show, Nancy. Good for you to have a quiet place to go to write. I'm with you. I don't need more pressure to write, so I don't participate in NaNo either. My daughter has OCD/ADD. She probably got it from me.

    I like your blog and will connect with you on social media and follow your blog. All best to you.
    http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

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  8. Excellent advice. Yes, I remember Mork & Mindy. I can do sprints & virtual write-ins, but the rigidity and length of NaNo is beyond my ability. But, a lot of writers use it and do well.

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