Saturday, October 29, 2011

National Novel Writing Month

Monday night at Midnight, as Halloween night turns to the day of the dead, National Novel Writing Month begins.  Know colloquially as NaNoWriMo, the goal during the month is to write a draft of a novel - about 50,000 words - in one month.  To break it down, that's 1,667 words a day, or about five double spaced pages of writing a day.

I first heard of NaNoWriMo from a writer friend , Beth, in 2008, and eagerly signed up, not knowing what I was getting myself into.  After a rough start, include two days of no words in the first week (damn you, work travel) and an average of 3000 words the last four days, I crossed the finish line with my novel Four Corners. Is Four Corners good?  God, no.  Will I let you read it?  Hell, no.  I've barely made it all the way through myself.  Will I let you read a couple chapters that since NaNoWriMo have turned into short stories?  Yes.  Will this lead me to write the Great American Novel.  I hope so.

I've done NaNoWriMo every year since, and 2011 is no exception.  So far I have hit the 50,000 word goal each year, and have written more than the previous year each time as well, (50,188 last year).  The point isn't to have a perfectly written novel to shop around on December 1st, but to  stop making excuses, stop putting off writing and put your butt in the chair and write.  Each year my NaNoWriMo writing gets better, but there still are some pages with "I can't thing of anything to write" typed over and over.  More importantly, since I started doing this I've done a lot more writing during the other eleven months of the year.  Hell, one of my stories even got accepted for publication this year.  Hopefully someday it will come out.

So, to my point, forgive me if I ignore you this month.  For most of you, this won't be different from any other month.  Facebook?  I will be hiding from you, you giant time thief.  Fantasy football?  Sorry, not gonna spend a lot of time wondering whether I should start Dallas's defense over the Giants.  Work people?  I might be hard to find at lunch.  Wife and kids?  Of course I'll still pay attention to you, but if it looks like my mind is wandering, it's because I am trying to figure out what fires I'm going to throw at my main character to make him interesting.  If I come up with anything worth sharing as I furiously write in November, I'll share it here.  If you have any plot ideas, feel free to share them, even if they are terrible.  Desperate times usually set in around November 11th.

For more info on NaNoWriMo, please see their website at  If you are interested, sign up or donate to their young writers program.

Thank you all and see you in December.

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