Last Stop Before “Literary Abandon” — ROW80 Check-in

NaNoWriMo is my birthday present to myself each year. Every year, I love it. And every year, I hate it…there’s just simply too much to do in that one tiny little month.

Even without my birthday falling at the beginning of the month, everyone rushing to get in their training and Thanksgiving at the end, there always seems to be unexpected craziness happening in November.

Case in point:

  • Last November my husband and I lost our last parent. And moved.
  • The November before that I was tired and pregnant. (And interviewing for jobs.)
  • Every year, November marks the start of the holiday season when I cook and bake like a wild Christmas demon.

I tend to arrive at December 1st a little out of breath. And still, I love NaNoWriMo.

I love the community, the late-night writing sprints, the before and after parties my local team throws. The write-ins, the excitement, uploading my word count, thinking about my book and my characters and writing, writing, writing ALL THE TIME.

And here’s where we come to why I love ROW80. With the life I lead, I can really only sustain the NaNo Level of Crazy for a single month. If I tried to do it all the time, it would make me cross-eyed and crabby.

ROW80 brings the steady, warm glow of friendship and a community of shared purpose but it’s just a bit more mellow and manageable. Where NaNo is a Rave, ROW80 is a house party. They’re both fun, but a wild Rave takes several days to recover from.

Whether you’re gearing up for NaNoWriMo or not, I wish you luck in your writing goals this week and I’m glad you stopped in to encourage me with mine.

ROW80 Update:

1. I’ve written 9 blog posts this week with the intention of getting ahead for November. I plan to write 4 more tomorrow so I can really start the month ahead by a few weeks.

2. I’ve started mapping out my writing schedule so that I don’t make my husband feel like a NaNo widow.

3. I’ve made a chart of the scenes I want to write during NaNo. When I finish my book, I’ll have succeeded, whether I make the 50K challenge or not. My goal for this round is only 30K anyway.

4. Last but not least, I’m dusting my fiction off so that it’s waiting for me when I’m done with this memoir. I miss my book and I’ve dug all the notebooks and files out from our move so I can scribble ideas down as they come to me during the “30 days and nights of literary abandon” that is NaNoWriMo.

5. I continue to encourage and visit my fellow members of Team ROW80, even when I don’t check in. It always lifts my spirits to see how great everyone’s doing.

What are your goals for November, whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or not? Do you have a project you’re rushing to finish before the holidays get into full swing? Do you LOVE the holidays or yearn to hide until the New Year has passed? Enquiring minds always  want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

BLOG ALERT: I’m guest posting over at Nicole Basaraba’s blog for her Writer’s University, The Pros Do The Finish Work. Go check it out if you want to know the difference between Editing and Proofreading. While you’re there, be sure to scope out Nicole’s fantastic posts on everything from writing to books to travel.

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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28 Responses to Last Stop Before “Literary Abandon” — ROW80 Check-in

  1. showard76 says:

    I am so glad I’m not into NaNo – I really don’t think I would survive it at this point in my life! lol The goals for ROW80 are enough for me, and thankfully I’m keeping up with those so far🙂 As for the holiday season, I would love to hibernate through it as it is not my favourite time of year – too much hassle and hustle -wake me when its over! lol😉

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I think the goals for ROW80 are plenty, but I’m definitely a Fan Girl of NaNoWriMo. It was the first writerly activity that I did with regularity and I’ve got a soft spot.🙂

      Thanks for taking time to comment!!

      Like

  2. This will be my first time doing NaNo and I’m already electrified by all the craziness!
    I wish it was on October or September, though … nothing I can do about it though.
    As for your update, you seem to be doing pretty well! Keep it up😉

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  3. K.B. Owen says:

    Wowza, Jenny, you’re one busy gal! Nice work!

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  4. Amy Kennedy says:

    I feel like you looked in my brain. I get so excited for nano every year, yet at the same time I have this dread rising in me at the thought of it. My birthday’s in November too, so’s my middle son’s. I’m planning a dinner menu for November — so, I’m never surprised by someone’s hunger. I need to do the blog posts ahead of time…of, course, I always need to do that, and yet, never do!

    My goal is not 50K either — the most I’ve ever done is 36K, and I feel as if that was a figment of my imagination.
    Good Luck!

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      WOW…look at all these creative types with November birthdays!! Laura’s birthday is then too. I love it!

      I sure hope you come find me in NaNo Land, Amy…what’s your username over there?

      Like

  5. Stacy Green says:

    I don’t think I could pull off NaNo either, but kudos to you for getting so much done. November and December are always stressful. I can’t believe it’s nearly time for Christmas shopping! And that’s awesome you’re ahead with blog posts! Wish I could do that.

    Good luck!

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m not really far ahead like the Gene Lempp’s of the world, but I’m working on it.🙂 The one saving grace is that since Baby Girl is still a toddler, we’re just gonna wrap up boxes for her to play with on Christmas day…she’s not going to know the difference. This is the LAST year that’s going to happen!

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  6. Laura Drake says:

    You go Jenny! Got my cheerleader skirt on for you – but you’ll have to imagine it, because NO one is seeing that!

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  7. Wow, I’m impressed, Jenny. I am not a NaNo person, at all, but I’ll be waving pom-poms on the sidelines. Laura may look fine in a cheerleader skirt, but I’m sticking to warm-up suit!

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  8. amyshojai says:

    I’m not a NaNo person either, never tried it and likely never will. November is nuts for me, with special deadlines and out of town plus Thanksgiving so I would totally be bat-sh*te by the end of the month. I will cheer you on, however!

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  9. asraidevin says:

    Wow, you are really organized for NaNo. I think my lqack of that has kept me away this year. (That and a very demanding nearly 2 year old boy).

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Boy do I have you fooled. Nope, I’m putting all this work in ahead of time because i never feel organized and I do have a toddler. If you’re intrigued by NaNo, you should try it! Who cares if you don’t make the 50K. My NaNo name is “jennyhansen.”🙂

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  10. Happy Birthday! A little early. Mine’s in November at the end of the month. As always your level of activity blows my mind. Good luck with Nanowrimo and all your endeavors.

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  11. Kathy says:

    I’m planning to do NaNo and hope to come out with 50,000 words. Your labeling it “Literary Abandon” makes it seem much less daunting–sort of like having a month-long fling with writing. Whoopee! Thanks for shifting my point of view.

    Like

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You’re very welcome, Kathy. I see it as a month-long affair with my “other love.” It’s not that I don’t write all the time but I only push everything aside for one month a year like this. It’s helps me get a final push to get a WIP off my plate so I can start onto the next one.

      Like

  12. Love the at-work sign. Love “literary abandon.” I don’t know. My stomach is beginning to fill with dread….
    There’s just so much to do!

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Lou, I just went you your blog and I love your NaNo post!! I’m so proud of you for doing this. All us writers NEED your book!

      p.s. When is my Mistress Louella guest post????

      Like

  13. Hartford says:

    Girl – you are my hero – NANO and ROW80!?!? Wow! I know there is a bunch of you who do it and all I can say…is…you crazy??? LOL!
    Sounds fantastic. And it sounds like you have a fabulous plan and are well prepared which are keys to be able to sustain a most productive month. So here’s to your FAHHHBulous November where you’ll kick writing butt – woot woot!
    And just in case I don’t get the exact date right….HAPPY BIRTHDAY GORGEOUS! Hope you have an uberlicious birthday and that it’s just the start to your best year yet!
    And here’s to hubby surprising you with flowers and a little bauble box with something sparkly and a tad expensive (hubby…I know you are watching…take the HINT)!🙂
    HUGS!!!
    Sincerely,
    Your newest BFF, Nat (#pantypeeps forever…)

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Dang, girl. *blushing*

      I do NaNo every year. It’s my November thing. But I do take time off to celebrate my birthday on the 10th. A girl’s got to have priorities after all.

      My honey surprises me every day by being ever more awesome. He rocks!

      Love the sign off! #pantypeeps4ever🙂 LOL

      Like

  14. andrewmocete says:

    It’s awesome how much you love NaNo. I did it once, made 50k with a week to spare and thought, never again! Looking forward to reading about you progress.

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