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NaNoWriMo…Freeze Ray!

Well, NaNo-ers, how goes it? Have your characters run away with the story yet? Has your hero plunked you in the Pits of Despair and refuses to rescue you?

I’m in complete awe of you guys. I think you’re total nutcases, but I’m still in awe, kind of in the same way I watch NaNoWriMo No Mosnowboarders doing flips and tricks and think, “Wow, that would be cool, but I’d totally kill myself.” Or, at least, I assume so, given that I can trip over an imaginary line on the floor multiple times a day.

With NaNo I don’t even have to assume…I know. I tried it four years in a row. I’d be armed with my plot, my character notes, my maps, and the first two days of November, everything would go swimmingly. Then…BAM.

It was like Gru from Despicable Me broke into my office, yelling, “FREEZE RAY!” and shot me with that annoying invention.


Every time I sat at the computer, my mind would go blank, my right eyelid began to twitch (yep, I have a stress tic), my fingers developed arthritis, and I got a sudden urge to organize the coat closet.

I tried keeping my rear in the chair. I tried every writer’s-block-busting trick in the book, and some outside of it. The words simply would not come. After a while, the words per day I’d have to write to win NaNo became ridiculously impossible, and I gave up. I eventually discovered that NaNo, for some reason, just didn’t work for me. I became a turtle who slowly, ploddingly wrote most days and finished a novel in a year or two. I could even give myself wordcount goals and deadlines any other time of the year, and (if life was reasonably sane) accomplish them.

So I remain in awe of you, NaNo-ers. You guys are crazy and amazing. You can keep your insane month, but you inspire me nonetheless.

Now go write! 🙂


About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

One comment on “NaNoWriMo…Freeze Ray!

  1. Everybody’s different! And we all have different seasons, too. There were times when NaNoWriMo didn’t work for me at all. And I don’t know whether I’ll find it useful in future years. But this year, it was the perfect kick in the pants.

    It helped me establish a habit of sitting down to write daily. And it gave my husband a concrete timeline in which to play coach. He’s been encouraging me in my writing for a while, but this year’s NaNo gave him a very specific way to hold me accountable. “Have you done your words for today?” he would ask in the evening, as we settled on the couch after putting the kids to bed. If I said no, he’d say, “Then what are you doing here? Go write!”

    There were several times I had to play tricks to make the words flow, but it all worked out. Now I’m interested to see if I can keep the new habit rolling!

    At least you have a pace that works for you, even if it isn’t NaNo speed. You’re writing, and that’s the important part! 🙂

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