November is National Novel Writing Month

I heard about this from a fellow blogger who asked me how I am “managing to keep output up during nanowrimo” I was confused at the reference. I was about to ask if that was another Japanese game based on Pikachu. Instead, I googled it (if you want to google stuff, look up “Will Muschamp face” and see who pops up. Hint: it’s my blog) and discovered what it was. I guess I am now part of the 0.00000001% of the population who knows what it is.

NaNoWriMo is a really “creative” abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month.

According to the website, it is a “fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing.” Yeah, apparently writing can be as gripping as watching a turtle coming out of hibernation. I haven’t actually seen that, but I imagine it would be quite boring.  UPDATE: I looked it up on YouTube and discovered people actually film this. This is a time-lapsed video which originally lasted FORTY MINUTES.

Also, note on the right, YouTube’s recommended/related video: “suicidal tortoise” which I have to remember to watch.

Anyways, you start writing on November 1 and finish by midnight of November 30. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel. Again, according to the website, it is approximately 175 pages. In other words, you have to write a little under 6 pages per day. 6 pages per day? That  didn’t sound too bad, until I remembered that my dissertation was only 200 pages and that took me three years to write! So yeah, I would not recommend this if you have important things to do.

The website allows you to create a username and password where you can store your manuscript. It’s crazy! It’s kind of neat that they offer motivational emails and encouraging message boards too. Quoting the website again: “In 2010, we had over 200,000 participants. More than 30,000 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.”

That’s quite a dramatic statement, but understandable. I will admit it’s quite an impressive achievement. The best part is that the website proudly states that “the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.” This is basically my viewpoint on eating: quantity over quality! So, I approve of their attitude.

As I mentioned before, I do not recommend this to people who have other time-consuming things to do (like curing cancer). So I will be abstaining this year. Yes, be sad. But you can guess what (who) my perfect novel would be about..

Maybe we could write a 50,000 word long “Story of Us“ (see what I did there? No? Ok, the above picture is taken from the music video of her song “the Story of Us”)

Chris

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3 thoughts on “November is National Novel Writing Month

  1. Stress. It’s the name of the game with NaNoWriMo, for most. It may be about just breathing out and letting it flow, but whenever it gets to be about the end of the month…goodness, the cracking and wails that tend to begin. Still – a fun and challenging program for writers to participate in.

    But seriously – suicidal tortoise? Oh youtube…

  2. I’ve only been through 2 days of my first NaNoWriMo, and it is going to be a rough month. It’s nice to just write without overanalyzing and fixing, and I like to think that my 3337 word novel is already making progress. I’m just worried what will happen around day 10 when all of my steam has run out, and all of the thinking that I did in preparation has made it onto the paper. 20 days of stream of consciousness writing sounds scary. Especially from me.

  3. Pingback: Writer’s wall | heylookchris

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