Nahhhh-NoWriMo: A zero stress, no rules writing month - December victory lap!
posted October 4, 2022 7:03 PM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sat December 31 at 11:00 AM
I love the idea of NaNoWriMo but the demanding schedule sinks me every time. If you're looking to write more in November but NaNo isn't in your personal forecast, join me for a leisurely, asynchronous, no-rules writing event and spend a day, week, weekend, or month making progress on your writing project -- any writing project -- at your own pace.
Hi everyone! I’m working on setting some personal writing goals for myself for the month of November. If others are interested, I thought we could use this thread to check in with progress updates and support each other in a low pressure, friendly environment.

Some thoughts:

- This is for any writing project. Your book or novel, your story, your poem, your dissertation, your report, your memoir, your essay. Anything with words.
- If you make any progress this month that you wouldn't otherwise have made, you win. That includes research and outlines, edits and revisions.
- Hang out all month or drop in for the day. It's all good. Lurkers are welcome.

If folks are interested in setting up occasional zoom sessions for focused writing, we could totally do that too.
posted by mochapickle to Online (95 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

thanks for this mochapickle! I have a long term writing project I am feeling sort of ready to dive back into. NaNoWriMo always makes me feel too much pressure, then a resulting shame spiral when I fail out in the first week. I like this kinder, gentler version and will try to play along!
posted by supermedusa at 9:32 AM on October 10, 2022 [6 favorites]

Oh, that's exactly how I feel, supermedusa! Or there's the dark flipside to that where I decide well in advance that I'm not going to attempt it that year for very good reasons, and then around November 15 or so I start thinking that maybe, just maybe, if I blow off work and put my head down and focus and commit then I can certainly pull out a miracle, heck, some people have already done their 50k words by now and they're already working on the next 50k! And of course by November 20 I've panicked myself into total paralysis, and I've written exactly 1400 words and 100% of them are fully uninspired and I feel awful well into December.

So this IRL is kind of a plan to preempt all that, at least for me. But besides that, November is a lovely time to write. I'm in the northern hemisphere and the nights are long and the mornings are chilly, and it's delicious to get up early, walk across the creaky floors to the kitchen, make a massive cup of tea, and sit down and mill that woozy, still-dreaming part of my brain into pixels on a screen. (Although lately I've been writing by hand.)

My ultimate goal for 2023 is to be writing steadily throughout the year. I have a few projects I'm excited about, but I'm only working on them intermittently whenever an idea hits, which means progress is meaningful but very slow. I'd like to ramp up to the habit of a daily writing practice. So for November, my current goal, and this may change, is to spend an hour writing (or researching/mapping/revising) every day. I'm not planning to limit myself to a single project, I don't think. Just pick one each day and go with it.

I like this plan so far and I think it's doable. We'll see.
posted by mochapickle at 12:36 PM on October 12, 2022 [6 favorites]

I'm in. Thanks for setting this up.
posted by brainwane at 9:36 AM on October 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

Yeah, this is a heartening prospect. I'm game for Zoom, too.
posted by sock_slink_slink at 6:21 PM on October 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

I love this idea - count me in!
posted by mogget at 5:11 PM on October 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

I have an outline and the first three chapters of my first novel staring at me from the bottom of my Scrivener 'recently opened' list.
This might be the chance to revive it.
posted by signal at 7:46 PM on October 14, 2022 [4 favorites]

Writing words, for me, is rarely a truly creative endeavor in the admirable way that it is for many people who are Writers or Aspiring Writers or Writer Adjacent. It’s almost never about making the actual thing for me, nor is it particularly about honing a craft.

There’s a reason that when you go look at my profile activity here it’s a raging torrent of I statements, stream of consciousness, anecdotes, excessive verbosity akin to pressured speech, and hopefully a growing proportion of what you might term “warm takes.” It’s because writing words is mandatory. The contents of my own mind are shrouded unless I emit words.

Or unless I’m playing with vim to make it even more fun to emit words.

So, uh, yeah. In.
posted by majick at 8:15 AM on October 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

Thanks for this! I love the no-pressure approach. I have no desire to write for anyone but myself and my penpals, but October has found me writing much less than usual. I'm giving myself until the end of the month to get back into the daily habit of writing 3 pages in the morning and replying to the folks who have brought me such happiness in my mailbox.

I am looking forward to seeing what others accomplish! Have fun, everyone!
posted by danabanana at 1:16 PM on October 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

This is wonderful, mochapickle, thank you for suggesting it! I hardly write anymore and even journaling has been difficult for me to keep up with any regularity. I'd really like to get some movement, if possible, on at least outlining a personal writing/art project that is deeply meaningful to me.

I've been working from home since the pandemic started. While I'm not all that interested in returning to the office any time soon... or ever, truly... I sometimes think it would be nice to have a weekly open Zoom session where my coworkers and I could drop in/out and just work quietly together if we'd like. All that to say: the idea of a/some Zoom session(s) for focused writing time is really appealing to me :)
posted by vespertine at 1:27 PM on October 18, 2022 [3 favorites]

I have, not a coherent project, but a ~500 word per day, vague vision, and I think this is going to help me with it tremendously.

So yeah, I'm in.

Thank you, mochapickle!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:45 PM on October 26, 2022 [4 favorites]

Oh this is good. I was dimly thinking about doing NaNoWriMo again but the timing here is just not brilliant for me, and that's without natural disasters popping up all the damn time (just had our fourth 50-year flood event this year and I'm getting real tired of it). The stress has made my writing habit just dry up and NaNo seemed too much. This feels like a good way to ease back in.
posted by ninazer0 at 2:30 PM on October 29, 2022 [3 favorites]

Thanks mochapickle! I was just thinking about how I haven't been writing, hardly even journaling lately, and then I randomly entered a short story contest and won a $100 gift card to my favorite plant nursery and remembered that I love writing! I'm in for at least the trying to write part. :)
posted by fairlynearlyready at 11:44 PM on October 30, 2022 [7 favorites]

This is a great idea. I am still (6 weeks later) recovering from covid, and I have a trip in the middle of the month, so I might not be able to handle every day, but I would like to try to hit more days than not.

I also have a paid zoom account from work and can set up writing sessions - vespertine and sock_slink_slink and I can hang out there if nobody else. mochapickle, is it easier for you if I set these up or would you like to do it?
posted by joannemerriam at 9:32 AM on October 31, 2022 [3 favorites]

Thanks for the advance warning and the low-pressure version! It helped. Nahhhh-NoWriMo! I love it! I'm going to do it.
posted by aniola at 11:11 AM on October 31, 2022 [4 favorites]

I've just switched myself from Maybe to Attending. I have a researchy thing to write for a local history event. Thanks for setting this up, am hoping it will help with procrastination and self-sabotage.
posted by paduasoy at 11:22 AM on October 31, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm in. I also don't benefit from the pressure of NaNoWriMo but would like some structured encouragement around writing more frequently and making a practice of it. I have a short story idea that could go long.
posted by gauche at 12:19 PM on October 31, 2022 [4 favorites]

November is one of my busiest months at school, four grades worth of term papers to edit, return, and mark again, but I've also been sitting on several different story ideas for the better part of the last two years. I've got a definite "if I don't get this started now, I never will" sort of feeling, and a need to start building the habit of writing. I'm not sure how far I'll get with this, but I'd like to break ground on, and hopefully finish a couple of the short stories I've got bouncing around in my head. Thanks for this.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:57 PM on October 31, 2022 [4 favorites]

I'm calling it NaNoWriSome and I am excite!
posted by supermedusa at 8:57 AM on November 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

So how is this gonna work? Is it loosey-goosey, just post whatever progress you make, or will we do the zoom thing, maybe discord?
posted by signal at 9:51 AM on November 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

I just wrote 886 words!! Day 1 is off to a blast. best of luck to all and I look forward to hearing updates :)
posted by supermedusa at 10:16 AM on November 1, 2022 [7 favorites]

Wild timing as I just completed my big writing project over maternity leave (see more here), but will be following along here and maybe start up the next one!

Love the NaNoWriSome, supermedusa.
posted by knownassociate at 11:51 AM on November 1, 2022 [6 favorites]

Hi everyone, welcome to November! I'm so glad you're here!

So I set up this thread because I wanted to write more, get myself more comfortable with writing more regularly, and encourage myself to have more fun with it. Companionship for this kind of thing makes everything so much better:

1) It's more fun to do this kind of thing with good, fun people who also want to write more
2) I tend to stick to plans a lot better when others are aware of them
3) It's dangerous to go alone

Our theme this month is no rules and no stress, so I don't have a defined design or commitment on exactly how this thread might go. Today is officially as far as my original plan went!

But! I thought we might use it as a space where anyone who feels like commenting can update progress, declare victories and breakthroughs, share ideas, discover others who are working on similar projects or are maybe working on different projects in similar ways. If folks wanted to organize live writing sessions for interested others, we could set that up here. If you're like me and you're someone who likes to declare a goal, this would be a good place to do it.

And hopefully the thread will change and focus whenever we need some change and focus.

My plan is to be here all month, checking in every few days or so. I've decided to stick with my goal above: one hour a day of progress, whether that's words on the page, research, outlining, revising, typing up, scratching out, squinting helplessly at something I handwrote a month ago in a flurry of inspiration and can no longer decipher, whatever. It all counts. Also: Cleaning your writing desk totally counts.

I also have a paid zoom account from work and can set up writing sessions - vespertine and sock_slink_slink and I can hang out there if nobody else. mochapickle, is it easier for you if I set these up or would you like to do it?

joannemerriam, that would be brilliant! Would you like to take the lead on setting up a live event/events?

ALSO I THOUGHT THIS WAS NEAT: Back in June, knownassociate posted an Ask looking for tips on writing a 50K word nonfiction biography during her upcoming maternity leave and today she posted an update on how it went! Spoiler: It went great! There are some really great tips in the thread on how to balance writing with a busy and/or irregular schedule.

Congratulations to supermedusa and all who are making progress today! I'd better hop to it!
posted by mochapickle at 12:12 PM on November 1, 2022 [9 favorites]

knownassociate, I should have hit preview before posting! Congratulations on your new arrival and your writing project!
posted by mochapickle at 12:13 PM on November 1, 2022

Ha! I love Metafilter so much <3 Thanks for the shoutout!
posted by knownassociate at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Also, this isn't relevant to writing at all, but since you're all here: METAFILTER HOLIDAY GIFT SWAP SIGNUPS CLOSE TODAY! NOV 1!
posted by mochapickle at 1:04 PM on November 1, 2022

So I set up an event for tonight, and I'm hoping that posting it here won't make it vulnerable to pranksters (security by obscurity!).

Topic: NahhNoWriMo
Time: Nov 1, 2022 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 810 4364 3367
Passcode: MeFi

I just log in through the app but folks can also use the numbers below.

One tap mobile
+16469313860,,81043643367# US
+19294362866,,81043643367# US (New York)

Dial by your location
+1 646 931 3860 US
+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 309 205 3325 US
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 386 347 5053 US
+1 507 473 4847 US
+1 564 217 2000 US
+1 669 444 9171 US
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 689 278 1000 US
+1 719 359 4580 US
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 360 209 5623 US
posted by joannemerriam at 1:07 PM on November 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

Thanks, joannemerriam!
posted by mochapickle at 1:29 PM on November 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

This is awesome! I love the anarchy of a low-stress, no-frills, anything-goes writing month, what a great idea. I have a very small project (a videogame accessibility journal) that I've been putting off for a long while that's perfect for this. I wrote 250 words and edited 300 from an old draft today!

Thanks mochapickle!
posted by okonomichiyaki at 4:33 PM on November 1, 2022 [6 favorites]

Thanks, joannemerriam for setting up the session yesterday.
posted by signal at 6:04 AM on November 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'm off tonight but tomorrow night:

Joanne Merriam is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: NahhNoWriMo
Time: Nov 3, 2022 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 892 8006 6245
Passcode: MeFi
posted by joannemerriam at 9:45 AM on November 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

447 words today. I am discovering that writing first thing in the morning, then work, seems to work for me.
posted by supermedusa at 12:48 PM on November 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

If you're ever on the fence about joining one of the live sessions, I totally recommend giving it a try. I joined joannemerriam's session on Tuesday and it was terrific -- a quick introduction as people gathered, and then straight into heads-down quiet working for an hour.

I hadn't realized how helpful that focused hour would be! There was this scene I was dreading (and have been sort of low-key dreading for a year) but I felt it had to be done before I could truly enjoy working on this one particular project. An hour later, the initial draft was down. It was incredibly freeing and now I'm looking forward to the rest of the project. So thanks for that, joannemerriam, and the other folks present who kept me honest.

Super helpful and motivating. In case I don't make it to tonight's-- work deadline! -- I'll definitely plan on the next.
posted by mochapickle at 1:02 PM on November 3, 2022 [10 favorites]

Haven't written a word of actual story yet this month but have figured out a bunch of plotting and names!
posted by joannemerriam at 7:03 AM on November 4, 2022 [4 favorites]

You contradict yourself! Settling names mean you've written at least two words of your story!
posted by aniola at 9:39 AM on November 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

Thanks so much for setting up this project. I wanted to do NNWM but I don’t need more pressure in my life – and I’m sure it would just lead me to sabotaging my own progress (I do like to rebel against unnecessary rules). So far, the Zoom meetings haven’t worked with my schedule, but I’ve been writing daily and I’m up to 7,798 words! I have zero illusions about the end product or what I’ll do with it – but I’m having fun working on it.
posted by kbar1 at 1:21 PM on November 4, 2022 [6 favorites]

kbar1 7798 words!! that is amazing

I did 544 yesterday and 959 today (wooo!) I probably won't write tomorrow but I will write/edit/clean up some on sunday.
posted by supermedusa at 2:28 PM on November 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

Guys I wrote 280 words last night! I started!

I'd love to join a zoom soon. Thanks for setting this up!
posted by dearadeline at 9:34 PM on November 4, 2022 [6 favorites]

People people people lookit lookit!

I wrote a really awesome enormous sentence today! That worked! Not really intentionally! And wasn't, technically, a run-on! And wasn't totally over-wrought! It was kind of neat!

It was a Discord DM, admittedly, but still.

In my life everything is writing at all times.
posted by majick at 5:26 AM on November 5, 2022 [5 favorites]

Hi majick, are you working on a specific project or writing goal for November?
posted by mochapickle at 7:35 AM on November 5, 2022 [4 favorites]

Hi! You may remember me from such blockbuster hits as "everything is fucking nebulous" and "vague and abstract about everything all the time!" Stuff on my plate that could, if you squint at it and pretended I was a project-oriented person with a brain that worked like that, count towards being something we can cheerlead about:
  • Dude, please open your journal. Please. Just type something. Seriously. You even wrote software to make it easier.
  • That running stream of consciousness gratitude exercise.
  • Ooo oo remember the nonfiction prompt list that you were kind of excited about?
  • Every Friday I write my spouse a letter. I'm running late. Again. Second time I've been late out of 117 letters. Be nice to get that nailed down.


Goal. Specific. Scattered person brain, please stop doing the thing. Emit a coherent goal and stop being weird at the nice, supportive people.

posted by majick at 8:06 AM on November 5, 2022 [5 favorites]

majick, those are all great projects! I did a journal entry myself today and it felt great.

Okay, majick, you've been on my mind since your first comment this morning so I'm going to single you out, but I promise I'm not picking on you. I'm noticing some self-deprecation and sarcasm in your comments so far, and I think that's a totally normal and human thing that people tend to do, particularly when talking about Creating Things. It's a kind of defense -- it's weird and naked and embarrassing and awkward to earnestly declare a creative goal, so people tend to undermine it, joke about it, devalue it. That way, if they don't succeed, it's much easier to pretend it didn't matter.

But for November, I want it to matter. Not just for you but for everyone.

So for this month, this thread, let's promise not to undermine ourselves. Let's be kinder to ourselves: No sarcastic comments, no self-deprecation, at least here, and at least until December 1, just to see how good it feels. Instead, reward yourself. Encourage yourself. Let yourself play. Let yourself win.

This month is really just about progress, however you define it. It's enough to say, yeah, I think I want to write a letter, or a journal entry, or practice writing nonfiction and see how it goes. It's all worthwhile.

Is everyone on board?

And congratulations to everyone making progress so far! I spent Day 3 revising my resume, which I literally haven't done in ten years, and I'd totally been putting it off (there appears to be a theme to my projects -- things I have put off!) and it took hours but I managed to get it down to a single page and that was a kind of miracle. This afternoon, the plan is to sketch out a short story that right now has only the ending and a title but still needs everything else.
posted by mochapickle at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2022 [10 favorites]

Hi everyone! I'm so inspired by the progress people are making and sharing here!

I started my morning journal again on Sunday after taking most of October off. I write 3 longhand pages on college-ruled paper that gets me about 75-100 words per page, but the number of words is not important; it's the dumping of my brain that I like. I also write a bit about the tarot card I pull every day.

I have an epistolary project going on this month. I'm writing 25 advent cards for a friend, and the first 5 are en route and I have 2 more done. I am having lots of fun with this!

The vibe in this thread is wonderful and I really enjoy seeing all of the updates! Thanks for sharing!
posted by danabanana at 1:45 PM on November 5, 2022 [5 favorites]

I wrote 736 words today, not that much, but I finished the fifth chapter of my novel and introduced a main character that I was very iffy about. So a win.
posted by signal at 6:09 PM on November 5, 2022 [8 favorites]

This month is really just about progress, however you define it. It's enough to say, yeah, I think I want to write a letter, or a journal entry, or practice writing nonfiction and see how it goes. It's all worthwhile.

Thanks mochapickle. Your words reminded me of the pending writing assignments I have been postponing for a while.

After a long time,I took up the Inktober challenge last month and completed it successfully.That gave me a boost in my confidence level to take up more challenges.

Looking at all the progress you guys made this week, I’m motivated to try to write about something everyday starting today.
posted by SunPower at 6:08 AM on November 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

Hey, SunPower! Welcome aboard!
posted by mochapickle at 7:11 AM on November 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

But for November, I want it to matter. Not just for you but for everyone.

mochapickle, wow this was something I needed to hear! I have noticed that I have a tendency to downplay and self deprecate in my writing project itself, where I'm sometimes explaining why I'm even bothering to be journaling at all. I'm already used to cutting out those sentences, now I'm going to try to avoid writing them in the first place!

I wrote another 300 words since last time, and did some research. I probably won't join one of the zooms for various reasons but I'm cheering everyone on! (quietly, in a non-distracting manner)
posted by okonomichiyaki at 7:51 AM on November 6, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm going to ramble...

regarding my goals for this month. I have a section of "the book" that is about 35 pages, which I'd like to double, so ~20k words/35p. This should really beef this section up more to where it should be. so far its been amazing, this is the most productive single week on this project in far too long.

that said. I woke up to a bad pain day today, and among other pain helpers took 10 drops (instead of my usual 8) of the CBD/THC tincture I sometimes use for pain. well, I have definitely determined that 8 drops is the functional dose!! the 10 drops has me just a little sleepy, just a little spaced out.

so! I just wrote 1872 words of a new scene!!!! hopefully is is coherent and not an utterly hot mess LOL.

hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.
posted by supermedusa at 2:56 PM on November 6, 2022 [7 favorites]

I managed an hour and a half yesterday on a lecture I'm contributing to (my mother is giving a lecture about my step-grandmother's life and work, I'm doing part of the writing). Will hopefully do another hour today. Can't start yet as there is a cat on me. This isn't actually the writing I intended to do when I signed up to this, but will hopefully do some of that later this week.
posted by paduasoy at 1:08 AM on November 7, 2022 [6 favorites]

There's no reason at all that I couldn't have spent much of the weekend writing, but my brain refused to cooperate. (Thanks, brain.) However I can set up some more zooms! Here's a couple and then I am traveling so I won't be able to host for about 8 days.

Topic: NahhNoWriMo
Time: Nov 7, 2022 05:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 868 2777 5933
Passcode: MeFi

Topic: NahhNoWriMo
Time: Nov 8, 2022 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 827 0612 3445
Passcode: MeFi

Note the Meeting ID changes each time!

Hoping I can get my characters to actually do some things tonight rather than sitting around complaining that their names aren't quite right. aniola, I appreciate the insight - I've written 14 words!
posted by joannemerriam at 9:36 AM on November 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

I won't be able to make it to the next two zoom sessions but I just want to say how helpful they've been so far. Apparently I need some nebulous peer pressure to actually stop goofing around and work! Thanks to joannemerriam for setting these up!
posted by ninazer0 at 3:09 PM on November 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

Can't make it to today's and it's already started and this whole week so far I have no idea what time it is! But will aim for tomorrow! Thanks, joannemerriam!
posted by mochapickle at 3:33 PM on November 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

I somehow pushed myself and completed writing some letters which has been in my pending list for more than 2 months.
posted by SunPower at 4:31 PM on November 7, 2022 [6 favorites]

I've been following this thread as a reminder to add a little every day to a website on parlor games, and that's what finally got me through the challenge of a rough translation of Madeleine de Scudéry's "Games," a preface to her novel Mathilde from 1667.
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:07 PM on November 8, 2022 [7 favorites]

Thanks for hosting last night's Zoom session, joannemerriam! I finally sat down to start outlining my project—something I thought I would get to over the summer, but hey—and I was able to get some traction on it :)

If there's interest, I'm happy to host some Zoom sessions while joannemerriam is traveling. I'm available to set up something for Sun 11/13 and Tue 11/15 at any time mid-morning to early evening PST.
posted by vespertine at 12:03 PM on November 9, 2022 [5 favorites]

Last night I participated in my first Zoom with this project and wasn’t sure what to expect. There were just a handful of us, but we worked steadily and independently. I signed off after an hour and was shocked when I checked my word count for the day: it was more than double my average daily number. My apologies to the group for not realizing I wasn’t muted for the first 15 minutes! No one complained, but once I realized everyone but me was muted, I understood why the only noise I heard was my own clacking. Lesson learned for the next Zoom!
posted by kbar1 at 1:03 PM on November 9, 2022 [4 favorites]

I wasn't there, but I can tell you that when I'm on Zoom meetings, there's this one person whose keyboard I can always hear when it's clacking and I think it is delightful.
posted by aniola at 2:12 PM on November 9, 2022 [3 favorites]

It is the sound of industrious writing.
posted by aniola at 2:13 PM on November 9, 2022 [3 favorites]

joannemerriam, thanks so much for hosting the live events! I got a lot done! And safe travels this week!

kbar1, same! Could you hear me saying WHOOSAGOOGIRL every three minutes to the floof on the couch?

vespertine, I'd love to join you! On Sunday I have a thing from 10-11 a.m. Mountain Time, but please don't schedule around me. Tuesday's really flexible.

Really pleased with the results of the last live session and got a key scene written establishing conflict between the two primary characters. I've always struggled with conflict because it always felt forced to me. But here the conflict feels natural, each of these characters has a good reason to feel the way they feel. It's a lot of fun.
posted by mochapickle at 8:23 AM on November 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

I decided to write about some of the best inspirational moments I’ve had in my life.This was a suggestion from one of the mefite from meta card club. Today I wrote about one incident and about one amazing person who made a difference in my life.
posted by SunPower at 11:54 AM on November 12, 2022 [6 favorites]

I haven't written much this week due to ALL.THE.THINGS but I did write today and OMG
2,646 words of new stuff!!! my most productive day this month. I am achieving flow sometimes.

I really cannot thank mochapickle enough for putting this together. I have written about 11 pages of new material so far but more importantly I feel fairly confident that I will write more!

happy sunday :)
posted by supermedusa at 4:02 PM on November 13, 2022 [7 favorites]

I've finally finished my contribution to my mother's lecture about my step-grandmother. I will say I did some of it kicking and screaming, with a slight meltdown when I discovered she'd mentally allotted me the power point to put together as well, but not told me until the last minute (other family members would have been better suited to doing it, if only she'd asked them in time). Anyway, it's done, and I'm supposed to be flying up to hear it on Friday, but have a cold, so not sure whether I will make it (will take COVID-19 test tomorrow).

What I need to do next is to write an email to someone in my local history group who has emailed three times asking for information I should have given him. Task for tomorrow.
posted by paduasoy at 10:57 AM on November 14, 2022 [4 favorites]

Failed to do the email re local history as have COVID and feeling rough (I did manage to work but anything requiring actual thought wasn't doing). Must try to do it tomorrow. Poor Michael, he's emailed me three times asking me if he is doing next year's lecture, and I keep airing him. Not great.
posted by paduasoy at 11:54 AM on November 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

Hello everyone! We're just starting the second half of November, lots of time to continue writing or even just begin!

And congratulations to everyone who has made progress so far! paduasoy, I hope you're feeling better very soon.

Here at midmonth I am happy to report that I haven't written every day, but I have written almost nearly every day, at least a little, and other days not at all, and that felt right, too. I'm happy with it. As we finish out the month, I'd like to focus more on a few particular projects that feel close to my heart and keep those going into December. I'm still trying to cozy into the right format for the memoir project. My short story is feeling more real, more lived in. The novel is sort of guiding itself and I'm just letting it do what it wants because that seems to work. Honestly I have no idea where it's coming from but I am very curious to see where it's going!

Two neat things here on Metafilter

- If you enjoy sending and receiving holiday cards, don't miss needlegrrl's Holiday Card Exchange. Signups end at 6AM eastern on Nov 20, so Monday (tomorrow) is the last full day to sign up. needlegrrl does such a nice job on this. It's a lot of fun and I never miss it.

- The newly established Metafilter Events series has a BOOK WEEK coming up from Nov 28 - Dec 4. Sounds like some very good talks coming up for all things books & publishing. I hope to attend a session or two.

And remember:

“The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.” - Neil Gaiman

How's everyone doing?
posted by mochapickle at 7:10 PM on November 19, 2022 [5 favorites]

OMG, SUNDAY! Sunday is the last full day to sign up for holiday cards. I am DISTRACTED by snow and laundry.

If you miss it and would like to receive a card, I'd be happy to send you one!
posted by mochapickle at 7:44 PM on November 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

Still celebrating Nahhhh-NoWriMo around these parts!
posted by aniola at 9:46 PM on November 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

I was not able to do any writing during the week this week, due to a million work meetings and doctors appointments and all the stuff.

but I wrote 1,093 new words today! I am happy and hope to have time to do some writing during this holiday week. luckily there are no ambitious plans, just chilling out.
posted by supermedusa at 3:10 PM on November 20, 2022 [4 favorites]

I'm still hard at work on my writing project and last week I hit 20,000 words (woohoo!) but over the past few days I've deleted almost as much as I've added. I was listening to the "Fiction Writing Made Easy" podcast on the subject of editing, which seemed to be saying I'm doing it all wrong (maybe I misunderstood, but I was anxious to get back to my writing project and I wasn't listening carefully). I decided that I'm just going to keep writing and editing - it might take me a lot longer to complete the project, but that's okay. I'm not in a hurry.
posted by kbar1 at 10:34 PM on November 24, 2022 [4 favorites]

We're all winning at Nahhhh-NoWriMo. I know because the post says:
If you make any progress this month that you wouldn't otherwise have made, you win. That includes research and outlines, edits and revisions.

posted by aniola at 12:57 PM on November 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

A wee 450 words today and some editing. Considering how pooped I am from yesterday's cooking- and washing- and eating-a-thon I'm impressed I got anything done.
posted by supermedusa at 3:51 PM on November 25, 2022 [3 favorites]

Well done, everyone!

Yesterday I filled up a single 3x5 notecard, front and back. I figure if notecards were good enough for Nabokov, they're certainly good enough for me! Today was postcards & long-belated correspondence for mefi card club, feels good to know they are making their way now to their intended recipients

Home stretch!
posted by mochapickle at 6:17 PM on November 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

I wasn’t sure if this can be included here. Just finished writing all the cards for holiday cards exchange today. Some progress made…
posted by SunPower at 3:00 PM on November 27, 2022 [5 favorites]

this sunday writing is working for me! 2596 new words. its a hot mess but my plan is/was to barf the words out onto the page this month and spend december cleaning up and editing. short of my goal but way ahead of my expectations!
posted by supermedusa at 3:35 PM on November 27, 2022 [4 favorites]

SunPower, I've got good news for you. There's at least a couple points for celebrating your Nahhhh-NoWriMo writing.

1. This is a "no-rules" event
2. I will now quote the non-rules on whether writing long-belated correspondence counts: "Anything with words."
posted by aniola at 7:44 PM on November 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

Hi NaNoWriMo people! Metafilter Events has a Book Week this week - there's lots you may want to check out! These are all online events, and you can register here. If you can't attend the sessions, most will be recorded - so you can still register for tickets to receive the recordings. (You can also gift tickets, sponsor Mefites for tickets or sign up for the chance to get a sponsored ticket. Bundled passes are also available to join all the sessions you want for the rest of the season/half-season.)

Here's a quick summary of the schedule:

Tuesday (29 November)
- How Picture Books Work
- The Ghost in the Bookstore: The Rise, Fall, and Rise of U.S. Horror Fiction
- Shakespeare Performance in the US

Wednesday (30 November)
- Language and Linguistics Smack Talk and Back Talk with Grant Barrett of "A Way with Words"

Thursday (1 December)
- Top 3 Book Marketing Mistakes Authors Make and How NOT to Make Them
- Author Reading: "The Haunted Object"
- Bourbon 101: The History of Bourbon and a Guided Tasting

Friday (2 December)
- Let's Ban a Book: How Technology Has Reshaped the Battle for the Book's Soul
- A session on how to write a book that both resonates with your audience and sells, by a former literary agent and publishing consultant.

Sunday (4 December)
- An interview with an author that got her start through NaNoWriMo, writing 85k words in a month and subsequently securing a book deal from a major traditional book publisher.
posted by aielen at 8:17 AM on November 28, 2022 [4 favorites]

I wasn't able to keep up with this due to a variety of factors and have 12-hour work days both today and tomorrow, but thanks to all for the inspiration!
posted by joannemerriam at 9:12 AM on November 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

I was all full of hope, but then I spent most of the month writing comments on student essays, burnout, then depression, then needing to finish checking those drafts to give back to the students so they could finish their final drafts. I managed a grand total of zero words on any of the things I meant to write, and a lot of time staring at walls.

This week and next are for grades. School will finish on the 13th, and we have an absurdly long break. I'm going to aim for DoDeWriMo, and see what I can manage to get done. Thanks again for posting this, I wish I could have participated more.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:52 PM on November 29, 2022 [4 favorites]

Hi everyone! We made it to December! Hooray!

I wanted to thank you all once again for joining up this month and being so game for this November writing experiment. And congratulations to everyone who spent some time this month writing! I didn't write EVERY day, but I did write more days than I didn't, so I call that a solid win. I hope you had a positive experience!

And Ghidorah, I hear you! I'm so glad you're thinking of December when your schedule clears up and you can catch your breath a bit!

I learned a lot this month. joannemerriam's very helpful early November live write-in sessions were incredibly effective for helping me focus and they were a tool I hadn't even realized that I needed. Left to my own devices, I'll get up, wander around the house, snuggle the dog, check my phone rummage for snacks, sit down again, write a little more, press my fingers into the wax of a burning candle, peel them off, check the mail. It turns out my main issue is just keeping myself in my chair. So I'll be looking for more live online coworking things, perhaps focusmates, to stay a little more centered and a lot less distracted for 60-90 minute writing sessions.

I learned, yet again, that threads like these are genuinely helpful. I love to read about the progress folks have made and it's assuring to know others are working on their own projects, too.

And I learned how much I enjoy writing by hand, which hits differently for me than using the keyboard. A good pen, cheap paper, and a battered old clipboard, and that was perfect. Now I need to go type everything up, see where it all stands.

So what's next?

In early January (that's next month!), I'm planning to do Jami Attenberg's Mini 1000 writing event, where you write 1000 words a day for six days from January 7-12. If anyone wants to join me and start the new year writing, etc., I've posted a thread for it here on Metafilter IRL.

I've been thinking a lot about accountability and how threads like these help encourage progress, particularly for me but hopefully for others. And I'm definitely planning a Nahhhh-NoWriMo for next year. If anyone might be interested in a continued accountability thread, or maybe a regularly scheduled drop-in live-writing session, let me know?

Thanks again and congratulations to everyone for participating!
posted by mochapickle at 11:47 AM on December 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Where did the month go?! I made progress but am not done with my writing project.
posted by aniola at 12:50 PM on December 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm still working, too!
posted by mochapickle at 12:58 PM on December 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm still working on my project and love the idea of an ongoing thread. Not so much to hold me accountable - I tend to self sabotage or bail when I feel like I'm expected to do something. So maybe just a place to touch base, to shout out when we want to celebrate, and to cheer others on. I added 27,471 words to my project in November and it felt really good just typing that in for others to see!
posted by kbar1 at 1:47 PM on December 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

I plan to continue also!!
posted by supermedusa at 2:10 PM on December 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

back by popular demand
posted by aniola at 6:22 PM on December 1, 2022

Aw, bummer. I was working on my own event post for this.

aniola, since it's a new and different event, would you please take the liberty and initiative to create your own name and description for it as well? Thanks so much.
posted by mochapickle at 7:50 AM on December 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Just saw this here. I'll delete it!
posted by aniola at 7:14 PM on December 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Hey folks, I've had QUITE THE DAY TODAY so I'm... er, I'm just gonna ask the mods to keep this thread open through December for posts, updates, and good news. Thanks!
posted by mochapickle at 9:19 PM on December 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

hahaha I sat down to do some editing but instead wrote 1200 words of a new scene!! wooooo.

I had an amazing convo with my husband the other night, taking about The Book, and this project and my current level of focus. it was really fantastic and very encouraging. (my husband, while 10000% enthused about this all, barely knows what the book is about and is unlikely ever to read it, he's just not a reader. but I was talking about it in more detail than usual and explaining some of the underlying themes etc., and he was super excited and encouraging about it!)

its just great to have someone cheer on your creative endeavors. I'm so glad we all have this little space here for cheering each other on!!
posted by supermedusa at 1:12 PM on December 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

I lost some momentum in the second half of November, but tonight I seem to have regained it. I did a bunch of editing and wrote a few hundred words, and also had a bit of a breakthrough regarding sequencing. My original plan was to write throughout November, and get to a place where I could start publishing* this stuff this month. With the breakthrough I think I'm actually fairly close to that. Thanks for keeping the thread open! Still cheering you all on!

*by which I mean posting to the video game forum where I have a informal mini blog, the lowest of low stakes here.
posted by okonomichiyaki at 6:58 PM on December 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

Absolutely fantastic! The work continues!
posted by mochapickle at 7:49 PM on December 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

editing is def harder than writing! I'm getting it done in tiny little pieces...
posted by supermedusa at 8:36 AM on December 14, 2022 [4 favorites]

I've finally managed to write the first book summary (this is for a local history publication, I have to summarise six to ten nineteenth century novels). Book is almost 250,000 words, I was aiming for 125 words, ended up with 610. I'm going to leave it at that for the moment and review length when I've done some more. Slight problem with the timing. I have to finish by the end of December and this one took 7 hours of reading and an hour of writing. That's a lot more hours to get in by the end of the month, when I also have to make a Christmas cake, clean the house etc.

I have still failed to email Michael with the details of when he's supposed to do the local history lecture. Hopefully he has asked someone else, as I think I may now be in I-can-never-contact-him-again procrastination.
posted by paduasoy at 12:54 PM on December 16, 2022 [3 favorites]

So happy to see your updates, supermedusa and paduasoy!

So, good news: The resume I updated waaaaay back on Nov 3 actually works! New position starts after the holidays!

And progress news: I stopped writing morning pages for a bit, but I'm back on track now and they really do make a difference each day. I still have a stack of index cards and post its and looseleaf from November to sort & type up. I'm still trying to work up the nerve to try Focusmate, but I did set up an account. Maybe this weekend.

And this week I bought a timer for pomodoro & it's really fun to use. Nicked the idea from another mefite's insta. It's this hexagonal one that goes up to 60 minutes.
posted by mochapickle at 5:34 PM on December 16, 2022 [6 favorites]

Wait can I get in on this still? I would love to make some writing and editing buddy friends!!
posted by yueliang at 9:28 AM on December 21, 2022 [4 favorites]

Welcome, yueliang! It's good to see you here!

So, hey, this current thread is set to expire on Dec 31, which means it'll drop off the current IRL page but people can still comment here for I think another 30 days before it officially closes. If anyone would like to start a new creative check-in thread here on IRL either now or in the future, that would be rad. It's easy and fun! I just ask that you come up with your own event title and description for it instead of re-using this one.

And I do plan to host a NahhhNo alternative event again in November next year because you've all been amazing and inspiring and I got much more done than I expected. I'll keep commenting here through the end of December, and maybe by then I will have a report on focusmates for you!
posted by mochapickle at 12:34 PM on December 21, 2022 [5 favorites]

Hi folks! If anyone's still subscribed to this thread, just a quick reminder that the Mini 1000 starts tomorrow. I haven't tried this event before but it's a short six-day event where you write 1000 words a day for six days, Jan 7-12.

I have a story redraft in the works so I'm using this as a kickstart.

A few of us are trying it over on IRL HERE. Come join us!
posted by mochapickle at 7:22 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]

Finally finished and submitted my summary of the novels of a 19thc novelist. That was painful and I didn't get it down to the requested 1000 words, but stuck at 1865, having cut out about 1100. I hope I've done an ok job and given a sense of what her writing is like and where new readers might start. I've had an acknowledgement back which suggests they are not immediately chucking it back to me as too long, which is good.

Must not sign up to any more writing projects for the moment. Maybe later in the year.
posted by paduasoy at 9:36 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]

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