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.