Over on my friend Benjamin Solah‘s blog he posted a link to questions about nanowrimo and how you participate in the event. So here’s me taking a crack at it.
When and how did you find out about NaNoWriMo? How did you go?
A friend of mine heard about nano on NPR and told me. I failed miserably that first year, but learned a lot about how I had to write to meet the goal.
How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?
I’ve done it 6 times (every year since 2003) so this will be number 7
How many times have you won? If you haven’t won, what was your best result?
I’ve won three times. Usually if I fail, I fail it’s in a big way.
How did you go last year?
I got off to a good start, then didn’t like the idea and dropped it. I tried again a week later and again got a good start, but nothing ever jelled and so I failed.
Where do you write and with what do you write?
Most of my writing is on my trusty laptop with Open Office. I’ve also been known to write in email and send it to myself, or on anything else I have handy. Even pen and paper if I have to.
As for where, usually it’s on my couch in my living room, though I’ve made it to a few write ins.
How do you find time to write?
Right now I’m working part time, that leaves plenty of time to write.
Are your partners, friends and family allies or enemies?
My husband tends to roll his eyes at the whole thing, but he tolerates it. I have many online friends that help me out and offer servings of encouragement or beatings when I deserve it.
What are you strengths and what do you use to help you get to the end?
There’s the fact that I’ve done this many times before so I have a fair idea of what to expect. And not just nano novels, but stories in general. One of my problems is often finishing things, so I use that as a goal as well. And one of my favorite tools is the Nanowrimo spreadsheet. I suck at making spreadsheets myself, but I find that this helps me figure out how far I’ve come and how far I’ve got to go.
What are you weaknesses, obstacles and challenges that hinder you from finishing?
Laziness? Procrastination? Usually just wandering off in far directions that have nothing to do with writing. My biggest hinderence is always myself.
Do you plot/outline/plan or do you write by the seat of your pants? How much do you plot or how unprepared are you?
I find I do best if I semi-outline. That is if I have some idea of what’s going to happen next. If I plot the whole book it’s no longer interesting to me and I fail (this happened last year). I need that sense of wonder when I discover something I didn’t know about a character or a situation. But I need at least some idea of where things are going.
So far all I’ve done for this one besides a general plot is worked out the background.
Do you participate in the real life community, go to write ins and meet ups in your area?
I always try to. Working retail right now that’s difficult, but I always try to attend at least one. The Nanowrimo chatroom is usually where I get most of my encouragement from.
What are your writing aids? Special snacks, music, totems, rewards or punishments?
I always try to just plug along. Word wars are my friends. I can’t listen to music unless it’s wordless. As far as totems…well, I always try to have at least one nano sticker on my laptop?
Feel free to pass it along, link it back if you do. Bonus points for including a nano related picture!
I was thinking about posting and talking about this link today, but then I realized, oh yeah, I already posted that a couple months ago. The blog is like three months old and I’m already repeating myself?
So I have a question for you, the audience.
What sort of stuff would you like to see here? I’m sure you guys would rapidly get bored with “today I wrote three pages” or “Oh look, another rejection”. I am trying to post links to contests or interesting magazines as I find them. I can also post links to tools that I use. And expect a full on “go nanowrimo go” post come October or so.
I’m trying to have the sort of site I’d like to read, but I’d also like to know what interests you as well. Maybe you can consider this a ground floor opportunity to help this site grow and be more interesting. So leave a comment with any suggestions or drop me an email.