Awesome things about NaNoWriMo 2010

This year’s NaNoWriMo was amazing, my best yet. I should have known it would be when I got to talk to some of the OLL staff over the summer, but that was only the start of some serious awesome.

It all started with a retweet. I was waiting for the NaNoWriMo site to relaunch and tweeted about Wikiwrimo. A few minutes later the official NaNoWriMo account had retweeted it. Then it happened again a few weeks later.

But that didn’t prepare me for the actual forum relaunch. I was away at a family birthday party when the forums went back up, but when I returned, I saw something completely unexpected: one of my questions on the Reference Desk forum. Forum moderator Dragonchilde had solicited questions for the forum description, and mine made the description for an entire year. How much sweater does it take to knit a sweater for a giraffe? I didn’t know, but by the time I returned from that family gathering an hour after relaunch people were already discussing it.

The giraffe sweater thread led to fun things like someone sewing a hoodie for a stuffed giraffe. It also led to me finding out that someone had knitted a sweater for a giraffe, emailing that person, and getting a reply. It turns out that she doesn’t remember how much yarn she used, but she did have pictures.

People started to recognize Wikiwrimo’s existence. Even that infamous anti-NaNo Salon article mentioned the existence of a NaNoWriMo wiki. Wikiwrimo and I also got mentioned in an article about NaNo.

I remained the top poster in the NaNoWriMo forums for the entire month. To be fair I made most of those posts in October. Still, no one surpassed my October post count. I also may or may have fifty thousand words in post count. Given that I would have to write only thirteen words a post for that goal, I probably do. Part of me wishes I had kept track.

There was #lickmattkinsi and everything that came out of it. You know you want to lick him.

There’s also #50kweekend, the result of leaving MattKinsi, Chomsky-rabbit, and me in the same chat room. I completed #50kweekend in two days and then wrote another 16,000 words on the third day.

And then there’s the word count. My original goal for the month was 150,000 words, but that got shattered when I ended the month with 300,787 words spread out over three novels. My competition with another Wrimo found me soaring above her and competing with several other Wrimos until I soared above them and found myself approach people I dare not compete against. I broke my personal record for longest work ever written twice this month. Considering the new record is 171964 words, I’m pretty sure it won’t be broken for awhile. I had three 20k days this month and set a new single-day record of 27,767 on the first day of 50k weekend. My 20k day one and my overall word count have earned me a mini survival kit and a 2011 planner in a NaNo team community I’m in, which is neat.

I can now maintain 1000 words in fifteen minute spurts and 10k in less than four hours. In fact, the latter was my write-in and non-warring rate this year. This makes 50k in twenty-four hours look doable, especially if I can get the latter down to three.

So how’s this getting topped next year? I’ve already been challenged to do 400,000 words. It’s theoretically possible even with a full-time job, especially if I use the weekends to play catchup. I do know that, Baty forbid, I’m still unemployed during next NaNo, I’m going for 500,000 words and breaking the word count meter. You can mark my words on that.

6 replies on “Awesome things about NaNoWriMo 2010”

I think one valid complaint that gets leveled against NaNo is the emphasis on quantity over quality. Having done & won two years now, I realize full well we’re just trying to spit out a rough draft for revision later. But I’m concerned that maximizing word count is just an OCD joyride for people who don’t see literature as anything more than output.

It’s very telling that you talk so much about word count, and even your post count in the NaNo forums, while scoffing at my questions about the content of your work. The talks I’ve had about writing with fellow NaNo people have to do with plots, settings, themes, and characters. The joys I got out of this year’s NaNo involved finally drafting a work I’ve thought about for a long time, and the realization that I can work writing into my schedule along with work, kids, reading, and responsibilities. These things can’t be measured numerically, but they matter too.

@Istvan For me, I don’t find 50k to be a challenge; I can write the daily 1667 in less than half an hour if I focus. This is why I aim for more, and many overachievers aim for more because they don’t find 50k to be a challenge. There’s none of this obsessive-compulsive joyride, as you put it. Finishing halfway through the month and relaxing through the rest of the month isn’t that fun for me, though I have done it for several NaNos. For me, I happened to have a good bit of spare time on my hands and plots that I enjoy, so it made sense to devote a good chunk of the month to writing.

I’ve already had this discussion about a message time and time again and told you and for some reason you’re still not getting it: I’m exploring an idea. Religious humans have these preconceived notions of what God is like, and they justify it because their holy work tells them so (or not). What must their god think? What would happen if this god went to change it? Want a message or moral lesson or what have you? Gods have feelings too, and she’s probably upset at what you think about her. Sorry it’s not earth-shattering.

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