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Ok–You Can Say It a Little Louder Now November 11, 2009

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations, Uncategorized.
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I am now in Day 11 of NanoWriMo, National Book Writing Month…that’s right..day 11 of my quest to write a 50,000 word book—which by the way is not that long a book. It’s the length of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, a slim volume. However, I’m no longer whispering that I am doing NanoWriMo—and I’m not exactly shouting it from the rooftops of my neighborhood either. But so far, so good. As of today I am at 22,506 words—closing in on the halfway mark

I adopted the word count strategy of my friend Anne who is a 2008 Nano winner. She advised doing 2000 words per day which is a bit higher than the goal of 1667 which Nano advocates. That way, she pointed out, if the roof falls in and you can’t write (which would be the only reason not to write) you are not too far behind.

So each morning I get up at six and go into my study. First I meditate and ask for mucho help from any good spirit out there who is so inclined. Then I start. My declaration is to have my writing complete for the day by 10 am. And so far, I have managed that every day except this past weekend when I attended a quilting retreat.

The experience has been a bit different than I thought it would be. For one thing, I am more disciplined and committed to it than I anticipated. Secondly, I have let go of the need to make my writing perfect before going on. The Nano folks advise you not to edit your work or even go back and read what you have written. So, OK, I am not reading the tripe that I have written. It’s not about quality at this point; it’s about quantity. The idea is that if you get something on the page you can go back to it in December and edit it. But you can’t edit a blank page. I have found this to be true before. If I just get something down on the page—good or not—I have made a start and then I can mold it into a decent piece of writing by editing the heck out of it.

Unlike my other Nano buddies, I am writing a non-fiction book with the working title of Intention in the Workplace. It’s based on work that I have been doing for a long time and I am enjoying noticing how my understanding and interpretation of it has changed and in some cases deepened over time. So, while I can’t yet say I am having fun—I am getting satisfaction from this process. Was even feeling pretty good about my word count until I talked with a WriMo at Borders on Sunday. She plans to reach her word count by today. She will then go on to write a second novel by the end of the month. Take a deep breath… “To compare is to despair.”

Me? I am happy to settle for 50,000 good or not-so-good words.



1. rke50 - November 18, 2009

trying to understand this blog stuff… hope you get this

edgyangel - November 27, 2009

Rachel! I did get this but just discovered it this morning. Don’t know where it’s been hiding. You are doing great on Nano!

2. Jane S - November 11, 2009

Congrats, how wonderful. And think of how many others things fit in just fine…the retreat, my visit, the children. Certainly shows your commitment. And I do hope the retreat was fantastic, too.

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