Surely you’ve all heard of NaNoWriMo by now?  It’s short for National Novel Writing Month.  The rules are simple.  You write a work of fiction, at least 50,000 words long, beginning on November 1 and finishing on or before November 30. 


You think it’s crazy?  Thousands of people participate every year.  There are support groups, parties, and write-ins in every major city in the U.S.  NaNoWriMo is a chance to let your literary hair down and just flat out create, with no pressure whatsoever to turn out something good.  The rules are very specific about that.  It doesn’t have to be good. 


Confession:  I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo twice, but have never met the 50K goal.  The first time I made a serious attempt and got about halfway through a novel aimed at middle-grade readers.  It was a modern-day retelling of the myth of Atalanta.  It stunk.


The second time, long-time readers may recall, I blogged my NaNoWriMo attempt.  It wound up being a short story in which we all met up at a Xanga Ball and a shadowy figure from Xanga days past taught me a lesson.  That was fun, but again, fell far short of novelhood, even the print-on-demand variety.  (Editor’s note: Print-On-Demand is an interesting phenomenon.  I’ll talk about that another day.)


So, is your intrepid writer friend TR going to NaNo again?


I would like to.  Sort of.  Not really.  The thing is, fiction is not my thing.  I feel silly making stuff up.  It’s a game to me.  I have no confidence in my ability to Say Something in story form.  Or even to be entertaining for more than the first 10,000 words.


Besides, somehow, in the last year or so, I bumbled  into a Paying Job, and then I accidentally got a second job. Then there are those pesky, demanding children.  It all leaves me with little time to blog, and no time to putter about with 1,666 words per day of self-indulgent fictional frippery.


Nevertheless, I encourage you all to give it a whirl.  You never know what your psyche will turn up when you give it that kind of space.    




24 thoughts on “

  1. I think I write better non fiction essays, and wow that’s a lot of words. How much money did you say? ha ha. so who picks these winners? Real writers? It sounds scary. RYC: Thanks for the confindence I know what I am doing here.

  2. I would feel the same way regarding making something up. To tell something that went on or give my impressions makes more sense to me. I like the movie “Alex and Emma”  which goes into the “process” of being a writer.It’s like peeking in on another world for literal minded prairiecowboy!

  3. You have two jobs and I can’t find…Oh yeah, I have two jobs too.NaNo sounds like torture… or something Mork might say.

  4. I think studying english lit for all those years fried my fiction circuits. I would love to write a novel, but everything I want to say has already been said better than I can do it lol

  5. I have started to participate a few times.  Last year I did and got a huge 1,250 words.  What’s that, a nice paragraph?  Grrr.   I’m trying again this year.  Now if only all of these people at my house would move out for the month.  Hmmph. 
    If nothing else I’ll at least buy a t-shirt.  🙂

  6. Do you have to write it all at once?  Maybe if you squeezed writing in all year between your two jobs and raising your family, you could come up with the requisite amount of words…..  I wonder if life was this busy in the 40’s and 50’s?  I’m a closet fan of Leave it to Beaver, cause I’m just that idealistic. 

  7. I remember your story about the Xanga ball. I really liked that and hoped you’d Nano again. I plan on doing it. I skipped last year, but the year I did it, I thought it was great. I was going to just free write, but then the more I thought of it, the more I had to start plotting and planning and outlining. I even bought the book “No Plot, No Problem.” Oh well, see how it goes. I have one job and kids, and can do it, since I type pretty fast. I’m not sure how that would work with 2 jobs tho, or what your hours are. I’m just intrigued by the idea of what would come out of my brain if I just start writing.

  8. I am contemplating it.     I did it once, and failed once, so I thought I’d try it two out of three.    I could never do it with even a part time job.   But I am retired and have whole days to write.
    Good luck if you decide to try it.

  9. Hey, I’ve signed up, and I can count on one hand how many times I’ve written a work of fiction. I usually get 500 words into something before realizing, oh hell, this is a POS and is about as realistic and believable as the cover of the National Enquirer. I think, for my sake, I’m going to bend the NaNoWriMo rules and write a memoir. My goal is not to write a novel, but to force myself to write in a longer format than I am used to and to see what comes of it. Of course, in the spirit of the event, I’ll fictionalize things here and there and maybe even throw in someone who doesn’t exist.Alternatively, I can try to write a work of fiction… but fiction writing seems so … boring.I’m looking at it this way: 50,000 words is 20 days of 2,500 essays. That, I think, I can do.

  10. I have signed up for NaNo twice and actually attempted it once.  The blank computer screen mocked me.  Apparently I was visiting with my neighbor while passing through the imagination line and missed out on that attribute.  None.  Zilch.

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