NaNoWriMo

No, it’s not another secret command Klaatu uses on Gort. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. In a nutshell, people sign up to write a novel throughout November.

That’s right. A novel. Not some collaborative muddle with everyone else on the site. An honest-to-goodness novel written by each participant. Defined as 50,000 words.

You’ve got 2 more days to sign up if you’re the creative type. The project is about quantity, not quality. The idea is to write, putting it simply. Consider the output a rough first draft. If you churn out 50,000 words, then your Great American Novel moves out of head and into reality. It’s not just a pipe dream you tell yourself you’ll get to some day when you hit the lottery and retire early or some day when the kids are old enough or some day when you’ve stopped going to the gym because you’ve lost that last 10 pounds and are keeping it off.

I know a lot of people who say they’re writers (not professional writers, I’m talking creative writing here). Some of them actually do put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and come up with something regularly or now and then. But the majority (and I’m ashamed to count myself among them) are no better than the drunk at the club who swears he’s the best pick-up artist but never makes a move from his stool.

I’m getting off the stool and going over to the cool guy who my beer goggles say has been staring at me all night.

What am I writing about? No freakin’ idea really. I don’t have a firm plot in my head at that moment. I’m not even certain what genre I’m going to ask to dance. I’ll see what happens Saturday morning. I’ve got some vague notions of several things that may turn out to be a waste of a month. My goal is to get to 50,000 words and hope they don’t make me vomit.

Come join me if you’re the writing kind. Or, at the very least, be those even drunker friends at the bar who don’t see that the cool guy looks like Gary Busey and is dressed like Screech and who tell me that we’d be perfect together. Nag me and pull the stool out from under me when I come running back to the safety of the sidelines.

I may post updates on my progress here but I’ll likely be keeping the details of the novel under wraps. If I tell you all about it, then I’ve told the story already and I should tell it on paper instead.

Wish me luck. Beer goggles on!

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One thought on “NaNoWriMo

  1. Good luck to ya. My NaNo novel from last year was one of five finalists in a nationwide contest, although I didn’t get up to 50K words by the end of Nov. ’07. Now, I find out a “real” novel is usually over 75K words.

    So, I’m in again for this year. Bet I won’t hit 75K.

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