New York and NaNo

Thursday, November 03, 2016
So it’s the beginning of November and I’ll bet you a whole ream of paper that many of you are first timers with National Novel Writing Month. Or what we old-timers like to call NaNo. And the more I thought of the NaNo experience, the more I thought about my recent trip to New York. And what I thought was gee, Cathy, what a great metaphor!

New York:

I’ve been to a lot of places around the world, but New York’s not one of ‘em. It’s too big, too crowded, too expensive, too…too overwhelming! But Juniorette Hall has been several times and loves the Big Apple. Come on, she said, let’s do it for our birthdays! It’ll be great! And in a moment of weakness, I said okay. (Gulp!)


You’ve been writing for a while…a short story here, an essay there, your blog, your journal, but a whole book? 50,000 words?! It’s too much, too time-consuming, too demanding, too…too overwhelming! But your writer friends, or maybe a few critique partners, have done Nano several times and they love it. Come on, they say, we’ll do it together and it’ll be lots of fun because we’ll have that great NaNo community and accountability! And in a moment of weakness, you say okay. (Gulp!)

New York:

We stayed in Manhattan, and honestly, for a somewhat small area, it’s packed with things to do! So we had a plan, a schedule of what we’d cram into each day, from nine in the morning till midnight. But we neglected to take into consideration travel times, long lines, rainy, cold weather, and sold out venues. In four days, we accomplished maybe one quarter of the things we wanted to do, despite how hard we tried! (Phoeey!)


November is a long month—thirty days—but still, it’s packed with all kinds of things to do besides writing. Undaunted, you've made a plan, maybe plotted out your idea beforehand and made notes about characters. In short, you've organized a tight schedule to get all those words done (or you follow the NaNo suggestion of 1667 words per day). But you didn't account for sudden sickness, lost notes, fingers cramping, and a finicky laptop. So despite your best laid plans, it’s only Day Three and you’re already 2,657 words behind. (Phoeey!)

New York:

It was a whirlwind of sights and sounds and smells and I was flat wore out when it was done. And yes, my feet ached and my pocketbook took a hit and I can barely remember it all, but it was totally worth every minute! Why did I wait so long to go? But when I go back to New York—because there’s so much more I want to see and do there!—I’ll be ready for whatever the Big Apple throws at me! (Whee!)


It’s only been a couple of days and maybe you’re already flat wore out. But I’ll bet you’ve done more writing than usual, and if you keep at it, you’ll accomplish more than you can imagine. Although it may not be a book that anyone would ever read, you’ll learn so much from this first Nano try, that I promise, it’ll totally be worth it. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before! And then next year—because you’ll have another great idea, right?—you’ll be ready for whatever November and NaNo throws at you! (Whee!)

~Cathy C. Hall


Margo Dill said...

I think we should call you the Queen of Metaphors!

Linda O'Connell said...

Well,Cathy, you have inspired me to continue with my project. You are such an inspiration.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Margo, I didn't realize how often I do this until recently--do they make a crown for that? :-)

And Linda, I'm glad you're continuing with your project! You have too great a voice NOT to!

Pat Wahler said...

This is the first year I've committed to doing NaNo and wimped out. October (my planning month) totally got away from me. Therefore I've revised my NaNo experience to doing a detailed outlining and plotting of the book I will start writing very soon...maybe even in November. ;-)

Donna Volkenannt said...

Your comparison of New York and NaNo was brilliant! It's great to read that you will be returning to the Big Apple so you can see and do the things you missed.

BECKY said...

So glad you went to New York, Cathy C! For quite a few years now, I've wanted to go and do ALL the fun things, but so far haven't made it. For one thing, I need LOTS of money, and so far only pennies have showed up in my Createspace account! LOL...but at the same time... :(
Anyway...Would you believe this is the FIRST time ever I'm going to do NANO?! I always thought it sounded like a crazy idea, plus the fact that I don't write fiction, but this year I have a jump start on my muse, and I heard there is a "personal" category...but so far haven't located it on their site. If you know anything, please help!!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--My comment is going to be brief because I'm 800 words behind.

I'm glad you had fun in NYC and I hope NaNo is fun for you. You took a bite out of the Big Apple, and now you're biting into creating a novel.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

You weren't kidding. It really IS a great metaphor. I love NY and NaNo, though I'm not doing either this year. I'm glad your young 'un convinced you to hit the Big Apple. :)

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